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Reading: Fobney Island

Fobney Island, in Reading is being transformed into a wetland haven for nature thanks to a £500,000 facelift.

The Environment Agency led phase of conservation works will soon be complete on Fobney Island, Reading. This partnership project, supported by the Environment Agency, Reading Borough Council, Thames Water, and the Thames Rivers Restoration Trust, has transformed the site to enhance the island for nature based recreation. The first phase of the project has lowered the land to create wetland features that, at certain times of the year, will be in connection with the river. This will improve the site for birds, bats, fish, reptiles and amphibians.

Creation of the eastern wetland features which will provide ideal habitat for birds, reptiles and amphibians. The river itself has been restored to a more natural state through the introduction of two new riffle features. Riffles are areas of shallow gravel substrate which provide ideal spawning grounds for fish species such as chub, dace and barbel.

Introducing clean gravel to create new spawning grounds for fish species such as chub, dace and barbel. On the south bank of the river tree works have been undertaken to let more light into the river channel. This will help plant species such as water crows foot to become established.

Five trees have also been dropped into the river channel to create ‘woody debris’ features. These features will create more diverse flows within the river, and provide refuge habitat for juvenile fish.

A new footpath has also been installed on the site, and two bird hides are soon to be created to provide views across the new wetland features.

For more information on how you can get involved please visit the Friends of Fobney Island Wetland Nature Reserve facebook page.