We are having a big push this spring to clear the land drains on our improved pastures. They have not been touched for years, have filled with sediment and in some cases the water levels in the drains is no lower than in the surrounding fields. The result of this is that the pasture is getting ever more water-logged, rushes are spreading and we are losing grazing. Where we have already cleaned the drains out the difference in the surrounding pasture is immediate as water can drain away rather than sitting and puddling.
Of course, we need some wet ground and rushes for our seasonal visitors like lapwing, golden plover and curlew (all of which I saw today). We are leaving plenty of wet ground for them and creating some new wet ground for them to use. Indeed we saw a pair of lapwings setting up home beside a wet scrape that we only created ten days ago. It was useful reassurance that we are doing it broadly right.