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This project at Fiddlers Hill meadow, on the Fordham Hall Estate in Fordham nr Colchester, will create a new wetland environment within the floodplain of the River Colne that spans over five hectares and doubles the size of the existing fen.

It will use nature-based solutions, like flood water scrapes, to help reduce unwanted flooding and create habitats where wildlife and wetland species can thrive.

The scrapes will retain floodwater for longer and allow water to enter the meadow sooner which should ease downstream flooding and reduce pressure on the section of the river at Mill Road.

Alongside the wetland habitats, plans include establishing a permanent pond, installing new bat and bird boxes, and planting additional trees and scrub. Information boards around this site will tell visitors about the project and the diverse species that can already be found here. It will be an ideal rest area for users of the Essex Way, with a permissive path guiding them into the meadow to discover the wildlife, and delve into the history.

This is a collaborative project involving the Woodland Trust, Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust, Environment Agency, Essex Wildlife Trust, and Essex County Council. Following the construction phase, the Woodland Trust will oversee the site’s daily management and create a comprehensive long-term management strategy once the project is completed.

Visit the Woodland Trust’s website for more infromation about the Fordham Hall Estate.

Fiddlers Hill Wetland

Photo shows Fiddlers Hill Meadow during flooding over the winter of 2023/24

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