Offwell Woodland & Wildlife Trust

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The Wetlands
Restoration Project
The Wetland Area

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The Wetland area was originally one of two Victorian ornamental lakes, which were created by Dr Copleston, the Bishop of Llandaff in about 1830.  By the middle of the 20th century the dam wall was breached at the southern end.  Silt also built up because the victorian leat which took flood water away from the two original lakes was no longer in operation and flood water now entered the area.  The silted areas then became severely overgrown with rhododendron.  This plant is not native to Britain and renders areas ecologically sterile. Clearance started in 1988 and by March 1989 the dam wall had been repaired and The Wetland was flooded.


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The water course entering the hole in the dam, prior to reinstatement

Wildlife Value

Prior to restoration the value to wildlife was very poor owing mainly to the presence of rhododendron. This highly invasive species is not native and renders areas ecologically sterile.

Project Aim

To reinstate a wetland environment with as much diversification of flora and fauna species as possible.


1) Clearance of rhododendron.

2) Coppice native trees, especially willow, a host plant to 450 species of insects and mites.  (Kennedy and Southwood, 1984)

3) Repair of breached dam using Gabion basket structures.

4) Construct a spillway to control water depth not exceeding 300mm with gently shelving margins to encourage an "Open Water - Swamp - Marsh - Dry Land" transition.


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Tackling the breached dam wall


Continue to result


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