|Getting ready to get our feet wet|
Recent works have concentrated on achieving two thirds vegetation cover with the rest of the pond being open water.
|Pre work showing the area of open water in the middle|
|Planning our vision for the next few years|
- Creating these openings of clear water amongst the vegetation increases the edge habitat between open water and aquatic vegetation. This increases the structural habitat diversity inthe water.
- These open water areas near the bank also makes it easier to survey the pond without entering and disturbing the water. This will help in our aims to survey the pond in 2015.
Amphibians such as newts often use open water habitat for displaying in the breeding season. Whereas submerged vegetation is utilised by female newts as they lay their eggs on the plants and then fold over the leave to create a covered submerged parcel which protects the eggs from predators.
|Smooth newt in a south London pond - are they around at Kingston Hill?|
Think of fish in this case as insatiable omnivores eating everything else in the pond studies by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust shows. The lack of fish gives species such as dragonfly larvae and amphibian tadpoles to mature and survive…if they can survive each other!
Despite being lined with concrete, the vegetation was really hard to remove as the roots were well matted together, volunteers worked hard through the day to cut sections of the vegetation away, tow it over to the bank and host it out.
|...DIG!!! Zaraha and Alex aiming to dig for victory|
|Natania working on the rely line to drag out cut vegetation roots and rubbish|
|Checking progress at half time|
|Using buoyancy to our advantage|
|As Alex knows, the hard part is hoisting out the roots|
|Digging is a messy business|
|The pile up|
|Natania helps get the large soil and vegetation clumps higher up the bank|
|Alex moves the vegetation off to the drop point after lunch|
|Dragging up all of the loose stuff onto the bank in the rain|
|Whistle (or smile) while you work|
Alex, Zarah, Winsome and Natania worked really hard and together we managed to clear two channels up to the bank.
|Adding a little perspective to the clearance works|
|Natania, Winsome, Zarah, Alex and me (behind the camera :)) after a hard but worth while days work|
As we were packing up we saw a suspected southern hawker fliting about the pond laying eggs. Though late in the year, these should hatch next year when the larvae will spend around 2-3 years developing before emerging into more brightly coloured jewels of the sky.
|A clear shot of a southern hawker from earlier on in the year in Kingston.|
We’ll be back up at Kingston Hill in a few weeks for the fully booked woodland workshop and then again on the 6th of December to continue to reduce the amount of invasive rhododendron that we have on site.
We still have places on the rhodo bash day and would welcome help cutting down this invasive plant species from our site, email me at email@example.com if you are free and can make it.
Ta for now