The use of waste straw to promote the production of invertebrate foods for waterfowl in manmade wetlands.
The Amey Roadstone Corporation/Game Conservancy wildfowl reserve was begun in 1972 in one part of the 300 ha complex of lakes made by gravel digging at Great Linford, Milton Keynes, in north Buckinghamshire. It consists of a 20 ha roost lake, including 10 islands, with an 8 ha island/lagoon complex to the south-west and includes 12 ha of surrounding wet pastureland which is grazed by cattle.
The average water depth is 3.0m; there is no permanent inflow although the area is subject to regular winter flooding from the River Great Ouse.
The site is being managed and developed as habitat for breeding and wintering wildfowl. It is used as a demonstration area to display wetland management techniques and as an exercise in the integration of man-made waterfowl habitat with water-based leisure activities. The whole site is used as a study area for scientific research into waterfowl and wetland ecology and management techniques, particularly in relation to artificial waters.
The entire project is financed by the Amey Roadstone Corporation, a member of the Consolidated Gold Fields Group.