TV Series showcases Marsh Harrier breeding in Cheshire

Marsh harrier c. David Tipling/2020VISION

Cheshire Wildlife Trust will be featured in Channel 4’s ‘Rivers with Jeremy Paxman’ this Sunday, 8pm (19th March).

At a very special location Honorary Vice President, Professor David Norman, appears on the programme in Frodsham Marsh, the only site in Cheshire where the protected Marsh Harrier breeds.

The TV series, presented by Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman, sees Jeremy explore the full length of some of the UK’s rivers, covering their landscape, story and history. With the Severn and the Tweed already discovered, this week sees Jeremy focus on the mighty Mersey and visit the adjacent Frodsham Marsh.

Despite being an important ecological habitat, Frodsham Marsh is also the site of Peel Energy’s recently completed Frodsham Windfarm, the first construction site to ever achieve The Wildlife Trusts’ Biodiversity Benchmark award. This strict scheme requires organisations to implement the highest standard of environmental management systems, highlighting any wildlife on a site so that protection and enhancement can be incorporated into planning.

Standing close to the Mersey Estuary and the Manchester Ship Canal, the Frodsham Marsh is an important ecological area because it provides vital feeding and breeding areas for huge numbers of wading bird species. Professor David Norman was interviewed for the programme to explain the importance of this site, the conservation work that has taken place and the species that the ongoing work will help. This includes redesigning site infrastructure in order to protect badger setts, creating new wetland areas known as ‘wader scrapes’ to provide feeding areas for wading birds, as well as a 25 year commitment to managing a large expanse of reed bed to enhance natural habitat for the Marsh Harrier.

“This television series has provided the perfect opportunity to explore the wildlife that depend on our rivers and river banks,” said Charlotte Harris, Chief Executive of Cheshire Wildlife Trust. “It was a wonderful opportunity for Cheshire Wildlife Trust to be able to be part of this programme, showcasing our conservation work at Frodsham Marsh. The site is a great example of nature and industry coexisting and this is covered in the episode.”