Last August, as part of the Farming for the Future project, funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, we created about seven kilometres of new ditches and scrapes across six different sites in the Nene Valley. These shallow features were designed to increase wetland habitat in the valley, providing welcome habitat for overwintering and, ideally, breeding waders through the winter and spring months. We’d hope to see bird species such as lapwing, redshank and snipe using these new muddy patches in floodplain fields. More information on the creation of this habitat is in my earlier blog post.
Dug during the drought conditions last summer, it seemed unthinkable that these features could ever hold water, but as the wet weather descended over the UK and serious flooding affected various parts of the country, our ditches soon filled up.