Puxton Marsh SSSI
Puxton Marsh is located at Grid Ref: SO 82776 77940 (DY11 5HY). Situated ½ km north of Kidderminster town centre, just to the west of Springfield Park, within the Stour Valley.
This site is approximately 9 hectares (22 acres) in size. Puxton Marsh is a species rich marsh fen, and an excellent example in Worcestershire and declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The marsh has green links with other nature reserves and parks such as Stourvale marsh, Springfield Park and areas further down the River Stour such as Wilden Marshes. It forms part of the most important and extensive wetland habitats in the Midlands.
The marshland areas provide habitat for marsh cinquefoil, great water dock, lesser pond sedge, greater tussock-sedge, fools water cress and hemp agrimony. Other species found in the wetter areas of the reserve are locally uncommon species such as skullcap, water chickweed, flag iris and water forget-me-not.
The southern marsh orchid is found throughout Puxton and seems to favour the grazed areas. Seeds from plants at Puxton Marsh have been harvested, and are being used to grow young orchids which will be used to populate the adjacent Stourvale Wetland as part of an introduction project.
The fauna of the reserve is as species rich as the flora, with a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates living throughout the site at different times of the year. The 2005 wetland bird survey highlighted the importance of this site for over wintering wetland birds such as snipe. During the warmer months dragonflies and damselflies swarm to the site to make use of the wetter areas for reproduction and feeding and the same can be said for other insect species. Moths like the six spot burnett and emperor are not uncommon here, along with oddities like the thick legged flower beetle. There have been frequent sightings of grass snakes and slow worms on the banks of the marshland and in the long grasses. The reserve is also a locally important sight for breeding populations of common frogs and common toads.
While there are points where people can enter the wetland, due to its boggy nature, and populations of sensitive wildlife, it is not encouraged. There is a maintained circular route that runs along the edge of the river Stour and around the two main wetland areas.
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