We started cutting the reedbed during January and February 2018 to encourage it to grow and thicken up for wildlife that lives in there.
Ideally about a third of the bed should be cut each winter so there isn’t too much disturbance, then it should grow back thicker and may even be encouraged to spread. We’d like to encourage the reed bed to spread too, to encourage species that nest here such as reed warblers to thrive.
This work has to be done in the winter at a quiet time when the birds are not disturbed by the activity and nesting is not taking place. Reed is relatively easy to cut in winter as it dies down. We cut it with a scythe, then rake it out.
The picture on the left shows the reedbed when the cutting and raking had been done in March 2018. It grew back very quickly and it was difficult to see the cut section by the autumn.
By July the reeds had grown back and were already about a metre high.
Early in 2019 another block of reedbed was cut and raked off
The reed has to be cut before it starts to grow in April