AN EXCITING new collaborative research project is starting at the new wetlands wildlife reserve at the mouth of the River Parrett.

Bridgwater College is partnering up with Oxford Brookes University and the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT) to facilitate joint research on the new Steart wetlands.

Planning permission was granted two years ago to create this wetlands area and this partnership will allow Bridgwater students to study the environment and wildlife there.

Adam George, Oxford Brookes PhD student, has been appointed as a coordinator for the three organisations, and will also teach on the College’s Animal Conservation programme at its Cannington Centre.

Adam said: “Wetlands provide protection from flooding and offer temporary or enduring habitats for a diverse range of flora and fauna. Therefore, the aim of my research is to deliver valuable data that can facilitate the management of Steart Marshes and other wetland habitats.

“Working for Bridgwater College will provide me with the opportunity to involve students in this project, where they will learn valuable skills and contribute to this important area of research.”

Tim McGrath, from WWT, said: “WWT Steart Marshes is designed to be a working wetland, rich in wildlife, supporting farming and protecting the local community from rising sea levels.

“WWT want reserves like Steart Marshes to demonstrate how creating wetlands can solve many of the problems we’re going to face in the future. This PhD will provide an important piece of evidence in making that case.”