Conservation at the core of what we do.
Conservation on our marshes
The Blackwater Wildfowlers Association cares deeply about the eight marshes and foreshore areas it controls. Some are held on leases from local landowners or the Crown Estate Commissioners, but in recent years the club has adopted a policy of purchasing the freehold of marshes which become available.
In 1993 it purchased the 60 acre Brandy Hole salt marsh at Hullbridge on the Crouch estuary, and in 1997 it bought the 35 acre Gardeners Farm marsh near Goldhanger. In 2005 the club purchased the 80 acre Joyces March site at Goldhanger, with the aid of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Wildlife Habitat Trust and Maldon District Council's Blackwater Project. Joyces Marsh will continue to be a no- shooting zone, and is intended to provide a haven for wintering wildfowl. Also in 2005 the BWA added 23 acres of additional landholding at Brandy Hole, as part of the managed retreat scheme. Under this agreement the club is to manage the entire managed retreat scheme for 50 years, with total control of the site, including the exercise of sporting rights.
The BWA is also working with the University of Southampton, at Brandy Hole, to monitor tidal flooding by the use of several small remote sensing devices. These devices record and transmit tidal movement data to university researchers in an effort to increase the accuracy of flood prediction tools and a reduction in false alarms.
Ownership has enabled the club to make long term plans for the future management and improvement of these important local habitats, all of which are designated sites of nature conservation importance.
Building nest tubes improves the chances of survival for ducks by protecting the nests from predators