Wildlife in Bude Marshes

Welcome to our wildlife page, here you will find information about the habitats in Bude Marshes and information about our wildlife surveying.

Important Habitats and Species

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Reed Beds

The main habitat feature of the reserve is the reed bed , reed marsh is a particularly restricted habitat in Cornwall and Bude Marshes is the fourth largest area of reed in the county. This important area of reed provides valuable habitat for wintering migrant and breeding birds. 

Migrant birds have included bittern, glossy ibis, Baillons crake, night heron, and gargany duck, as well as the more regular sandpipers, warblers, etc. The area is also important in summer when there are breeding sedge and reed warbler, moorhen, willow warbler, reed bunting and mallard.

Neutral Grassland

There is a large area of neutral grassland with a damper area near the pond dipping platform. This area has developed on waste ground and is moderately herb rich with two species of orchid, which are monitered annually.  The grassland is cut in September to allow wildflower seed to drop, and to ensure the orchids have had a chance to seed. This area is particularly good for invertebrates and is often used for childrens bug hunts.

Plants

Six Cornwall Scarce species have been recorded within the Bude Marshes Local Nature Reserve . (A Cornwall Scarce species is a species found in four to ten sites in Cornwall )These are-   

  • Trifid Bur-marigold - Bidens tripartita
  • Grass Vetchling - Lathyrus nissolia
  • Bee Orchid - Ophrys apifera
  • Beaked Tasselweed - Ruppia maritima
  • Pink Water-speedwell - Veronica catenata
  • Horned Pondweed - Zannichellia palustris

Plant Surveys

Bee orchid counts

Each year a group of volunteers at Bude Marshes monitor the orchids found on the dry grassland behind the tourist infomration centre. The orchids were first recorded in 2002 but there has only been periodic records of numbers .

Year

Total Number of Bee orchid flower spikes

Number of Marsh Orchids

2002

12

Not Counted

2007

70

Not Counted

2008

103

Not Counted

2009

58

Not Counted

2010

30

137

2011

30-35

Not Counted

 

Fish Surveys

At the request of Cornwall Council, the Environment Agency surveyed the fish populations of three lakes in the Bude Marshes. Information gathered will help the Council manage pond habitats and fish populations to maximise the wildlife value of the ponds

 Results

Pond 1. Tourist Information Pond (NGR SS 2081305981)

Method: Timed electric fishing survey by boat

Species caught

Number caught

Length range (mm)

Rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus)

3

62, 64, 136

Roach (Rutilus rutilus)

1

118

European Eel (Anguilla anguilla)

10

140mm to 310mm

Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius)

11

57mm to 220mm

Pond 2. Bird Hide Pond (NGR SS 2081505743)

Method: Timed electric fishing survey by boat.

Species caught

Number caught

Length range (mm)

Rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus)

16

22 mm to 119mm

Roach (Rutilus rutilus)

45

59mm to 163mm

European Eel (Anguilla anguilla)

2

269 and 270mm

Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius)

35

58mm to 186mm,

Three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus)

3

37, 49, 52

Tench (Tinca tinca)

9

54mm to 176mm