2023.11.26 Churchdown pond work

Clearing the last pond

Sun 26th Nov ’23

Back in October the Gloucestershire Vale Conservation Volunteers worked on clearing a series of ponds in a nature reserve at Churchdown. We didn’t get time to finish the last pond, so we returned today.

Great crested newts live in this pond so it’s an important habitat to maintain and it can only be done in the winter months.

This was full of rushes – no water soldiers like the other ponds. There were three of us – two in the water and one on the bank.

The vegetation near to the bank had to be cut with shears, but further inwards the whole plant could be pulled, including root.

A field of brown grass and trees

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Before the clearance began

A person standing in a swamp

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Working from the middle out

A pond with grass and trees

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See the difference now!

It was difficult because the pond was much deeper than the others, and the plants were heavier to drag out into piles. We had a near miss when Anthony slipped, but luckily his head didn’t submerge. We were pretty done by then so we started to wrap up.

We did however clear the whole pond, apart from some tougher plants in the deep middle. It was very satisfying to see such a huge pile of biomass at the side – means that won’t be rotting in the pond floor and starving the pond of oxygen and life next year.

The Churchdown Council rep said she was very happy with the work we carried out, which is always the sort of comment like to receive.

A pile of cut grass

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