Bringing Back Healthy Forests to Rattray Marsh

Tree canopy

With the field season in full swing, CVC staff are busy working at Rattray Marsh Conservation Area. We’re continuing to bring back healthy forests. This year we’ll be planting another 900 native trees and shrubs. This is in addition to the 2,400 trees and shrubs planted over the past two years.

Rattray Marsh is home to a diversity of wildlife. Deer are abundant and enjoy feeding on the leaves and twigs on young trees and shrubs. Regular feeding leads to stunted growth and significant mortality of the trees and shrubs. To protect the new plantings, we’re installing pockets of deer exclusion fencing in areas with new deciduous trees and shrubs that are being heavily impacted by deer.

Map of Rattray Marsh showing deer fencing areas
Areas where deer exclusion fencing is being installed.

The temporary fencing will be installed and maintained for approximately five years to allow trees to grow to a height where most of the leaves and branches are above the reach of deer. Shrubs will be able establish and grow large, healthy branches and foliage that can better withstand deer grazing and regenerate rapidly afterward. Deer fencing is proven to be the most effective way to ensure survival of planted and naturally regenerated plants in areas where deer can have a significant impact

The fencing will not impact the movement of wildlife through the conservation area and allows small mammals, reptiles and amphibians to pass through. Areas between fencing will continue to regenerate with planted trees, shrubs and natural cover that will provide food and cover for wildlife.

You can enjoy weaving through the forest on the newly renovated trails along the Knoll Trail and Silver Maple Lane. Please remember to keep your dogs on a leash and be sure to stop at the lookout on the Knoll Trail for a beautiful view of the marsh.

Learn more about restoration activities and the upgraded trails at Rattray Marsh Conservation Area.

Share your photos with us while you explore the park on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Comments (2)

  1. Hi CVC,
    I love hearing about the Bringing Back Healthy Forests Initiative! Positive news is always welcome. And I love visiting the Rattray Marsh!
    I just wanted to suggest that you always emphasize that people be very aware of protecting themselves against ticks by including a reminder to people in all of your emails regarding visiting the Rattray Marsh with related links to more information. Also, perhaps you already have signs around the marsh but if not that would be very helpful. We are so happy to get out in nature, we forget all the time about the danger of ticks. A friend and I were in an area in Oakville on Saturday and she got two ticks. We forgot to think about it and were walking near long grass. Those two ticks are being tested for Lyme and she is on antibiotics now. Thanks

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