|River Conn's Water reedbeds: February, 2015|
These reedbeds on the river Conn's Water are to be retained as a valuable part of ecological diversity within the Connswater Greenway project.
They are located in Connswater retail park, close to Harry Corry's store.
Reedbeds are among the most important habitats for birds in the UK. They support many breeding birds. More commonly, reed and sedge warblers sing out from the stands and kingfishers flash past, their metallic colours catching the eye.
In winter, wildfowl like gadwall, tufted duck and shoveler feed in the shallows. Many migratory species also arrive to feed and roost in our reedbeds, including the globally threatened aquatic warbler.
Reedbeds are also good for invertebrates – iridescent damselflies like azure and common blues rest on the emergent vegetation, while nimble dragonflies, such as the four-spotted chaser and hairy dragonfly, hawk the area for insects.
Mammals also frequent reedbeds: otters prey on amphibians like newts and frogs, and water voles feed on the banks of open waters. Reedbeds used to be important for the local economy as they were traditionally harvested for thatching material.
Today, reedbeds play an important role in water treatment processes: they can be used for filtering sewage from water, and buffering pollutants from agricultural and urban land.