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Special amphibious machine used to create new wetland habitat for rare birds

PUBLISHED: 17:41 31 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:48 31 January 2020

A bittern at Oulton Marshes. Picture: Ricky Cone.

A bittern at Oulton Marshes. Picture: Ricky Cone.

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A special amphibious machine has been used in the Norfolk Broads to create a new wetland habitat for rare birds such as bitterns.

The Truxor machine in action at How Hill National Nature Reserve. Picture: Martin Dade.The Truxor machine in action at How Hill National Nature Reserve. Picture: Martin Dade.

The plant machine, known as a Truxor, was hired to clear reeds in otherwise inaccessible areas using its excavator attachment, in order to create new waterways for wildlife in the hope that bitterns will hunt there.

The project, which took place at How Hill National Nature Reserve, in the heart of the Broads, was led by the Broads Authority, in partnership with RSPB, Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation, and funded by a water environment grant from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

How Hill National Nature Reserve. Picture: Broads Authority.How Hill National Nature Reserve. Picture: Broads Authority.

Bitterns cross international borders to visit the Broads - with numbers increasing in cold winters as they fly from Europe.

Broads Authority environment policy adviser Andrea Kelly said: "We need to be ready to provide them with a quiet refuge in our newly-cut reedbeds and open ditches, filled with a larder of fish and amphibians.

Bitterns feed on fish and amphibians such as frogs and toads. Picture: Brian Shreeve.Bitterns feed on fish and amphibians such as frogs and toads. Picture: Brian Shreeve.

"What a brilliant achievement in time for World Wetlands Day on February 2, which this year celebrates wetlend biodiversity and why it matters."

The Truxor machine in action at How Hill National Nature Reserve. Picture: Martin Dade.The Truxor machine in action at How Hill National Nature Reserve. Picture: Martin Dade.

A bittern in flight. Picture: Pensthorpe Nature ReserveA bittern in flight. Picture: Pensthorpe Nature Reserve

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