A CONVERSATION project to rejuvenate a piece of college land plagued by flooding is underway.

Sparsholt land and wildlife management pupils, along with ecology and conservation degree students, have come together to create a wetland reserve.

Stuart Robertson, conservation and wildlife lecturer, said: “We decided that rather than just fixing the area so it didn’t flood we would embrace what was happening naturally and turn it into something that could be useful and educational for students.”

Students have been removing redundant fences and constructing new ones, cutting back vegetation and scrub and creating a stream to divert water flow. This project is not only giving current students hands-on experience, it is creating an educational resource for the future.

Once the area settles and the vegetation starts growing in the spring, it will have observational and research potential and students will be able to undertake surveys of the area.

Stuart added: “This is another great facility for our beautiful campus; it’s a great teaching tool which is on-site and easy to access. Other knock-on benefits include being a peaceful recreational area and re-opening a part of the campus which before was unused.

“The area will have little maintenance once it’s been established and will hopefully encourage new species of wildlife to settle there, as well as providing habitats and food sources for existing species.”

Although the site has come a long way, it is still a work in progress, staff say.