Mapsons Farm is situated in the heart of the Manhood Peninsula and is a busy arable farm. It is typical of farms in the area with fields bordered by drainage ditches that carry rainfall run off away and ultimately into Rifes that carry this water to sea. As well as ditches there are also farm ponds that are able to hold water during high rainfall events and, in most years, stay wet when the ditches have dried out. Water Voles have been recorded living in most of the ditches and ponds on the farm and it is a well-connected and clearly understood system of waterways.
During the heavy rains of 2012, during June and December, many of the farm’s ditches flooded and water sat on the land. Quite often this was where ditches had previously existed but had been filled in and thus the network was discontinued and was non-existent. Adjacent ditches that would have carried water off Mapsons Farm had not been maintained and therefore it pooled and dammed back. As a result much of the land was flooded and crops were lost. During the period of November 2012 – January 2013, Mapsons Farm carried out some ditch maintenance work, removing debris and digging out the built up silt from the base. Although the ditches looked very bare and denuded of vegetation this was during the winter when there is natural plant die back and many species are more dormant.
Nine months later the ditches are connected, fully vegetated and water is able to flow through them. They now support a variety of plant species that are attractive to invertebrates and offer good habitat for Water Voles.
BEFORE AFTER← Timing of Management Contents Contacts and References →