A marsh is a wetland that is dominated by herbaceous plants such as grass, rushes or reeds rather than woody plants. They can often be found at the edge of meres and streams and if woody plants are present at all they tend to be low-growing shrubs. Marshes form where water is very close to, or above, ground level for part or most of the year. This results in a waterlogged environment that stays soggy even if there are no visible pools of standing water.
Marshes are important for improving water quality, as they act as a sink to filter pollutants and sediment from the water that flows through them. They are also able to absorb water during periods of heavy rainfall and slowly release it into waterways, thereby reducing the risk of flooding. Marshes tends to be neutral to alkaline, as opposed to bogs, where peat accumulates under more acid conditions.
Marshes provide a rich habitat for many species of plants and animals that have adapted to living in flooded conditions. The plants must be able to survive in wet mud with low oxygen levels and many of these have channels within the stem that allow air to move from the leaves into the roots. Marsh plants also tend to have rhizomes for underground storage and reproduction. Examples of plants and animals that may be found in marshes are :-
Common Ringed Plover
Gazetteer of Marshes