LIFE Oroklini project visits nature reserves in the UK - August 2013

In order to see first-hand how wetland restoration and management works are done abroad, an officer working on the project and the project coordinator from BirdLife Cyprus visited seven nature reserves in the United Kingdom (UK). Six of the reserves are owned by the BirdLife partner in the UK, RSPB, and one by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT). RSPB has great experience in managing wetlands for the benefit of birds; it has over 200 nature reserves and manages 654 hectares of reedbeds.

Between 7 – 13 August, the project officers visited Snape where RSPB is creating new wetlands in an agriculture area, Boyton and Hollesley marshes where a brackish lagoon will be soon created, Minsmere with existing reedbed and brackish lagoons and a big visitor centre which receives around 90 000 people a year, Titchwell Marsh which is a popular reserve on the north Norfolk coast with existing reedbed and brackish lagoons and extensive infrastructure for visitors, and Rainham marshes right next to the River Thames which used to be a military firing range and are now transformed into an important place for nature. Finally, we visited the London Wetland Centre, which is owned and managed by the WWT. Here, birds and people can find a refuge in the heart of a big city.

The basic principles of wetland management are the same for all wetlands, and seeing management work implemented by organisations with extensive experience in this area was important for the management of Oroklini Lake. Besides, the RSPB is involved in designing the Water Management Protocol for Oroklini Lake, and the visit was a great opportunity for networking, and exchanging experiences and management practices for conservation, as well as an inspiration on how to engage the public with such projects.

Photos from the visit can be found here on the project website. Thanks to the RSPB and the WWT for their hospitality and their valuable time showing us around the sites.

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