World Wetlands Day – 2nd February
Since it is Worlds Wetlands Day this week I thought I’d take a little trip to find out exactly what wetlands were and why there was a day dedicated to them.
I took a trip to Kilconquhar (pronounced Kineuchar I believe) in the East Neuk of Fife near Elie. I found out that Kilconquhar had a nature reserve for their wetlands area so I jumped in my car and set off for a little look. When I got there I discovered a nice pub (not that I got distracted at all) for some much needed hot soup before my trek and asked the lovely gentleman behind the bar for some directions as knowing myself very well I get lost everywhere I go.
You’ve guessed it I got lost! Turned out to be across the road from the pub but I decided to walk up the hill around the town and back before I found it (good exercise right?) It was a fairly small area but wetlands are a very important place for ecosystems to develop and live. Many plants and animals rely on these areas to survive as in rivers/ponds predators would wipe them out.
The main things wetlands do are to purify the water, reduce flooding to surrounding areas and help to keep the shoreline stable.
How does a wetland differ from a puddle after rain? Well a wetland is described is an area which has the presence of water for an extended period of time which can support aquatic plants and other living things.
Wetlands are areas which are seen as wasteland and not really something nice or meaningful but I have discovered this is not the case. Many areas which have been developed (without the presence of wetlands) have shown problems with flooding and pollution of the land.
The 2nd February is significant as World Wetlands Day because this is the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in Ramsar, Iran in 1971.
To find out more about wetlands visit The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) website http://www.wwt.org.uk/conservation/