Castlemartin Corse
Bird Watching|March 2018

A relic of a once-great wetland 

David Saunders

Described in 1794 by Charles Hassall, an agricultural pioneer and colourful figure, as “a tract of several hundred acres which within these four years was a perfect bog of little or no value”, Castlemartin Corse was very quickly drained, enclosed and divided by ditches. The engineer who oversaw the work was awarded the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Science’s gold medal in 1800 for being ‘the most successful reclaimer of waste land.’

Two centuries on, the National Trust is endeavouring to restore the wetland, or at least that which occupies the lower part of the valley where drainage was least successful.

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