The Environment Agency, who owns the site, manages this wetland to maintain the variety of habitats in order to increase its wildlife diversity. This means creating lots of different homes for lots of different plants and animals to live. If the site were left unmanaged, the pond would eventually be taken over by woodland, by a natural process known as ‘succession’.
The Agency regularly clear encroaching vegetation to keep the large areas of water open to attract a wide selection of bird life and to allow light into the pond. The extra light and open areas of water encourages the small water plants and so, increases the amount of oxygen available to other pond life. This work needs to be carried out to maintain a balance, making sure the wet and marshy conditions remain for the plants and animals that need them. This work also allows the Agency to maintain a variety of different habitats on the site, which will mean that the site will support a greater variety of wildlife.
This is the underlying principle of conservation management at Velator Wetland and it has similarities with the management of the nearby Braunton Burrows sand dune system. By highlighting the successional changes at Velator and the need for man’s intervention, it is hoped that this will support ideas that are presently being encouraged in the management in Braunton Biosphere, especially at the Burrows.
How would you improve the site? Keeping in mind the need to maintain the wildlife and allow people to access and enjoy the site. Why might these two things not always go together?