Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group

09-11-15: Pond days at Kingston

The 2015 pond teams after administering some TLC to the ponds at Kingston Hill and Penrhyn Road. 

As our ponds start to quieten down for autumn, we took the opportunity to do some much needed habitat management at our ponds at Kingston Hill and Penrhyn Road.

As work starts
Halloween found us calf deep in water in the Kingston Hill pond where we continued clearing reeds to maintain a matrix of open water (for breeding amphibians), emergent vegetation (not dominated by reeds) and marsh areas. The matrix of habitats allows for increased use by a wider range of species rather then the dominance of a few.

The most biodiverse areas of our ponds are the top 20-30 cm of water amongst emergent vegetation, normally found at the margins of ponds. Due to its shallow structure and annually changing water levels producing large areas of exposed mud with small pools of water through the year;  the Kingston Hill pond is predominately composed of this biodiversity rich zone.

The halfway point
Luckily we didn't have too many spooky goings on, with the unseasonably warm sunny weather making it a pleasant day to spend in the water clearing reeds!
Chi digging away at the reeds
The final pile of our diggings - amounting to approximately a 1 tonne bags worth of reeds
The after photo

At Penrhyn road we had a different problem to contend with. The pond there, while smaller, was competently covered by invasive plants! Urban ponds are often very vulnerable to invasive plant colonisation, so we have to make sure that our management of this pond doesn't aid the spread of these invasive plants. 

Our main am of the day was to create an area where all of the invasive plants that were pulled out could be left to dry out without removing the plants from our site.  

Last Wednesday we decided to take advantage of some of the recycling on site at Penrhyn Road...
as well as sourcing off cuts from the team in Knights Park workshop to use as brackets....
Tatiana fixes one of the support blocks

Chere pre-hammering in nails before final placements, to make awkward angles easier to hammer

...and combined theses with some wire netting and cables ties to create our bespoke compost heap/ drying area.
Wire netting helps hold the vegetation off the ground to aid drying
We spent the rest of the session pulling out large amounts of floating pennywort and New Zealand pygmyweed from the pond. concentrating on the plants at the edge of the pond to allow wildlife still in the pond to escape to the depths in the middle. 
Female frog in the pond
Can you spot our little helper? 
We gained an extra volunteer, as this robin helped us tidy up, hopping around eating some of the invertebrates moving back into the water from the vegetation piles by the side of the pond.

We will continue our pond work next year, so if you are interested in volunteer or learning more about our ponds, email me at

No comments:

Post a Comment