Work to create Leeds' own avian 'Palm Islands' almost complete at Rodley Nature Reserve

Redevelopment work to increase the diversity of wildlife at Rodley Nature Reserve is almost complete.

Sunday, 21st March 2021, 6:00 am
A Common tern bird at Rodley Nature Reserve.

Work has been ongoing to alter the duck marsh in a bit to improve habitat diversity for wetland species in the area.

It is hoped that the relandscaping work will create different water depths to promote species diversity.

The scheme, which is a partnership between Yorkshire Water, Rodley Nature Reserve and Fountains Forestry, has also extended the northern bank towards the Willow Path hide, with the excavated land to be reused form a bank at the southern perimeter to provide suitable habitat for establishing a water vole presence.

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Rodley Nature Reserve.

Richard Hampshire, nature reserve warden at Yorkshire Water, said: “Rodley Nature Reserve has become a diverse location for wildlife over the last 20 years through the hard work of all involved.

“This project is part of the company’s Water Works for Wildlife initiative to deliver biodiversity enhancement to 15 designated local wildlife sites across its estate in the next four years.

"These sites are often in urban settings which don’t have the glamour of our upland habitats or Site of Special Scientific Interest – however they often have some of the rarest wildlife and greatest community passion and accessibility.

“We’re pleased to be nearing the completion of the work to reshape the duck marsh. The work will benefit existing species that visit the site but also help attract new wetland species in the future.”

Evacuation work at Rodley Nature Reserve.

It is hoped the project will attract species including Little Ringed Plover, Common Tern and passage wading birds on new spits and islands likened to Dubai’s man-made palm island.

Dave Nesham, trustee director at Rodley Nature Reserve Trust, commented: “The Trust has regularly considered the effectiveness of the Duck Marsh habitat and now, in partnership with Yorkshire Water and Fountains Forestry, its redevelopment will significantly improve its diversity and subsequent visitor experience.

"The investment by Yorkshire Water and their technical assistance is greatly appreciated.”

Rodley Nature Reserve Trust is a volunteer run charity.

It aims to bring wetland wildlife back into the Leeds area

Rodley Nature Reserve is currently closed but plans to reopen to the public on a restricted basis on March 31, under the latest Government guidelines.