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Keeping wetlands wet helps to keep you dry!

Wednesday 1st February 2017

Willington Nature Reserve, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Wetland, Trent valleyWillington Nature Reserve, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Derbyshire’s wetlands, big and small, play a vital role in flood protection and as homes for wildlife; that’s the key message behind Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s support for World Wetlands Day taking place on Thursday 2nd February).

Wetlands are a natural defence against extreme weather events, acting as a store by soaking up large amounts of excess water, and then releasing it slowly almost like a sponge. This can really make a difference in times of flooding, especially along low lying landscapes naturally prone to flooding like the Trent and Lower Derwent Valleys. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts extreme events will become more frequent in future as a result of climate change, so looking after our wetlands makes sense.

Angela Mayson, the Trust’s Head of Living Landscapes South explains “Wetlands don’t just help to mitigate flooding, they also provide valuable habitat for wildlife in decline and at risk. Some of the UK’s most iconic bird and mammal species can be found on wetlands, including bitterns, ospreys, otters and water voles. Our wetland reserves are also places where people can feel closer to nature, and get all the well documented benefits of spending time in green spaces.”

It is estimated that 64% of the world’s wetlands have been lost since 1900. Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is constantly working to protect wetlands throughout the county, carrying out river and floodplain restoration projects, and working with landowners to protect these habitats and the species they support. In 2017 Derbyshire Wildlife Trust will be working in partnership on the early stage of a Heritage Lottery Fund project looking at how we can make the wetlands of the Trent Valley provide for flood risk, provide for people and provide for wildlife.

Find out more about the Trust’s wetland reserves