EVRA Marston Marsh Volunteer Group

We have not yet set a new date for a Community Work Day on Marston Marsh but will post it here as soon as a date has been agreed with the Norwich Fringe Project.


Friends of Danby Wood

Eaton Rise Residents Association has formed a Friends of Danby Wood Group to get involved in some aspects of the management of the woods. This will be done in partnership with Matt Davies from the Norwich Fringe Project. The Friends group is being launched on Tuesday 10th May with a tour of the wood led by Matt Davies starting at Danby Wood car park at 6pm.  EVRA Residents are invited to join in with this event. Here is a link to the ERRA website for more information about this:  http://www.eatonriseresidents.com/events.html

Chris Stebbing

Our Community Work Day on Saturday 3rd October 2105 was part of the “Get Involved Week” organised by Norwich City Council. The aim of the week is to encourage people to get involved in their community through volunteer taster sessions. The City Council has published a list of all volunteer opportunities on their website at: www.norwich.gov.uk/getinvolved

EVRA will contribute to the “Get Involved Week” through inviting interested people to join in our next marshes work day. We will be clearing areas of scrub to prevent this taking over the marsh. The work will be led by Matt Davies from the Norwich Fringe Project who will provide all tools, work gloves, training and teas and coffees. Participants should bring a packed lunch and water and wear clothing suitable for working in an outdoor environment. It may well be muddy underfoot so wellies would be a good idea.

Chris Stebbing – evra.vc@live.co.uk

Report on community work day on Marston Marshes on Saturday 25th July. We had planned a joint community day with the Norwich Fringe Project and the Yare Valley Society where we would be cutting and removing an area of sedge located at the Eaton end of the Marsh. Heavy rain the night before and a pretty dire forecast for the day meant that only a hand-full of brave souls turned out on the marshes. Despite a number of heavy showers the group raked and moved all the sedge and grass cut during preceding days and created habitat piles. The sun eventually came out in the early afternoon!

Sedge grows into a dense cover stifling most other plants. Cutting and removing this enables other plants to thrive  creating a species rich area. We did a similar thing at the Ipswich Road end of the marsh two years ago to help create a hay meadow and it has made a big difference.

Report on Saturday 7th February 2015

The Community Work Day on Saturday 7th February completed the clearance of an old boundary hedge alongside Danby Wood and planted many new trees along the path edge. Around eleven volunteers from Eaton Village and Eaton Rise did a great job finishing off this work under the guidance of Paula from the Norwich Fringe Project.

Here are a few photos of the finished hedgerow:

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Contractors will begin work shortly to deal with the trees and then create a hard path through the woods. This work together with the work by the volunteers will improve the environment generally and open up the woods.

Other Conservation Volunteer opportunities

The Norwich Fringe Project maintain several sites around Norwich and volunteers are always welcome to join Matt Davies and his team. Matt provides training and tools and teas and coffees. The work sites and activities for coming weeks are now listed on a separate page.


Report on Saturday 12th July 2014 – It was a very busy day but also very hot. With the help of Girl Guides we cleared a fallen tree and created habitat piles from the logs and brash, we cleared the growth around the cattle corral and adjacent path, we cleaned out the drain at the entrance to the Marsh and installed two deflectors to divert rainwater off the path and into the ditch. A big thank you to Paula from the Norwich Fringe Project for leading the session and providing refreshments. Thank you also to Janet, Chris and Geraldine (EVRA Volunteers) for all their hard work today. Here is a photo taken at the start of our work.

Photo: The volunteers have started work down on Marston Marshes this morning - looks as if they are in for a busy day.


Contact Chris Stebbing for more info. Tel: Norwich 503301 or Email: evra.vc@live.co.uk


Previous Work Days:

Marston Marsh Community Work Day – Saturday 26th April 2014.

We had another productive session replacing a broken post supporting the handrail on one of the bridges; re-tensioning a barbed wire fence; and, replacing the supporting timber under another bridge. This maintenance work helps to keep paths and bridges in working condition and enables good access to the paths around the site. Thank you to Janet, Stephen, Hatty, Geraldine, Ros, Jason and his Dad, for their hard work. Matt, as always, was on hand to show us what to do and some of the team learned new skills in handling and tensioning wire using some interesting and challenging tools! Here are a few photos of the team in action:

IMG-20140426-00364Fixing the fenceFixing the bridge


Marston Marsh Community Work Day – Saturday 8th February 2014.

The broken bench on Marston Lane has been replaced and the dead trees and ivy cleared from the bank to provide a great view of the marsh. Thank you Janet, Chris, Stephen, Phil, Hatty, Margaret, Judith, Brian, Caroline and James for all your work and support for this project. Special thanks go to Matt Davies from the Norwich Fringe Project for his guidance on the best way to complete the task and for providing refreshments. We made new supports but have re-used the wood from the seat of the old bench. Matt will source some chestnut and replace the seat top in due course. We also built a plinth around the bench to improve access. For more information contact Chris Stebbing by email at: evra.vc@live.co.uk or on Tel: 503301. Here are a few photos of the team and the bench:



Community Work Day – Saturday 12th October 2013

Another successful work day was held on Saturday 12th October when volunteers from Eaton Village cleared and burned an area of willow scrub. We had a great fire going and cleared a lot of willow saplings that had invaded an area of grassland. Thank you to the Eaton volunteers and to Paula from the Norwich Fringe Project for her help and guidance.

Community Work Day – Saturday 3rd August

On Saturday 3rd August a group of Eaton Residents finished clearing an area of sedge which been cut earlier in the week. It was hot work but with a few tea breaks and home-made flapjacks we got through it. The Norwich Fringe Project mows areas of sedge on Marston Marshes in rotation to allow other grasses and wildflowers to thrive. On Thursday last week (an even hotter day!) the Norwich Fringe Project (which included EVRA volunteers) working with the Conservation Volunteers mowed an area about the size of a football pitch and cleared much of the cut sedge. The sedge has been used to create habitat piles for wildlife on the marshes. After about a month the area will be grazed by cattle which will remove any new growth and break up the ground to encourage wildflower seed to germinate for the following year. The sedge creates a dense, nitrogen rich undergrowth and the plan is to reduce the amount of sedge in some areas.

Here some photos of the EVRA Team in action:

Aug 3rd Hot Work Loading the sedge

EVRA and TCV Volunteers maintain Marston Marshes Path

On Saturday 27th April a group of Eaton Residents and TCV Volunteers spent a long day resurfacing sections of the Marston Marshes path that had eroded during the winter. Under the guidance of Matt Davies from the Norwich Fringe Project and Debbie Murray from TCV we shifted several tonnes of hoggin using powered tippers and compacted this using a powered “wacker plate”. The team also renovated some steps at the Ipswich Road end of the path. Thanks to those who helped assisted on the day. Here are some photos of the team in action.

Loose surface stones on path following winter damage
Loose surface stones on path following winter damage
Compacting the hoggin
Compacting the hoggin
Section of path after renovation
Section of path after renovation
Renovating the steps
Renovating the steps






Next Volunteer Group Working Party is on Saturday 3rd August 2013

A group of residents will be undertaking maintenance work on Marston Marshes on Saturday 3rd August from 10:00am to around 4:00 pm.  The work will be led by Matt Davies from Norwich Fringe Project who will provide any training and all tools and equipment. Additional volunteers are welcome. This is good day out providing an opportunity to get involved in conservation work in a healthy outdoor environment. Suitable outdoor clothing needed. Bring a packed lunch and water. Tea and coffee will be provided.


EVRA and TCV Volunteers make and place faggots on Marston Marshes

On Saturday 23rd February 2013 a team from Eaton Village Residents’ Association and the Conservation Volunteers (TCV) made faggots to shore up the eroded areas of the riverbank on Marston Marshes. The faggots were made from willow coppicing, bound with wire and anchored to the riverbed with hazel stakes. The faggots will prevent further erosion of the riverbank where this has been worn away through dogs and other animals clambering in and out of the river. Here are some photos of the team in action:

IMAG0159 IMAG0152 IMAG0154 IMAG0156marston marsh 011 marston marsh 028


EVRA Volunteer Group Build New Handrail Across Bridge on Marston Marshes

On Saturday 11 August 2012 a group of Eaton Residents added a handrail to one of the bridges across a dyke on Marston Marshes. Several users of the Marston Marsh easy access path had requested a handrail to make them feel more secure when crossing the bridge. Under the guidance of Matt Davies from the Norwich Fringe Project the handrail took around 4 hours to install with a number of new skills learned by the team. It was also planned to do some grass cutting but the water levels on the marsh were too high and this work has been postponed to our next working day in October.





Volunteer Group Replace Kissing Gate on Marston Marshes

On Saturday 28th April 2012 a group of volunteers from the Eaton Village Residents’ Association replaced one of the kissing gates on Marston Marshes. The original gate was in a poor state of repair, was too small and always had a muddy puddle between the posts. A nice new gate with room to get through is now in place. Here are a few photos of the gate before and after our efforts and the volunteers who worked hard for over 6 hours to replace it.