A floating island designed to attract more birds to Fradley Junction has been installed by volunteers this week as part of a project to improve wildlife habitats at the popular canalside spot.
The island will provide a safe place for birds such as reed buntings, house sparrows, willow tits, blue tits and wrens to nest and rear their young, well away from foxes and other predators. It is hoped that the island will also be used by migratory Arctic terns as they come to the UK to breed during the spring.
The £15,000 project has been funded largely through donations and will be carried out by members of the Friends of Fradley and Towpath Taskforce volunteer groups.
Fradley Junction, which marks the junction of the Trent & Mersey and Coventry Canals, has supported a hive of activity on the canal over the past two centuries and nowadays, with Fradley Pool, has become a special haven for wildlife. It has become a popular visitor destination and is used regularly by school groups. The Pool even has its own bird hide and an existing ‘tern raft’ is regularly occupied by a pair of Arctic terns making it a great spot for birdwatchers.
As well as installing the floating island the group will also be working to improve the boardwalk that leads around Fradley Pool making it easier for people to find the perfect spot to get close to nature.
Charlotte Atkins, chair of the Canal & River Trust’s Central Shires Waterway Partnership which championed the project, said; “Fradley Junction is already a thriving place, popular with walkers and boaters and brimming with wildlife but we wanted to make it even more special and so we’re delighted to see the project taking shape.
“We’re very grateful to the people who donated money to make the project possible and also to the brilliant volunteers who give their time in all weathers to keep the area looking good and to improve habitats for all the really important wildlife that lives here.”