Temporary or ephemeral ponds add an interesting dimension to any natural space that can sustain them. Their temporary nature means that they are often devoid of fish, other predators and competitors which might be present in more permanent ponds, thus a unique habitat is created for distinctive plants and insects which are specially adapted to these conditions. Stourbridge Common being a flooplain is perfectly suited to sustaining this type of habitat therefore four more pools were dug recently. Wetter areas were chosen for these pools in the hope that when the water table is high these depressions will hold water for long enough to encourage a flush of life, insect species but hopefully natal amphibians life too.
Work has been happening at two of our reserves to kick start our meadow areas for summer. Both Bramblefields reserve in Chesterton and Byron's Pool in Trumpington have had a large area of top soil removed in the grassland areas. Although it can look a little extreme at first but the end result will be worth it. By removing the top layer which already has a well established seed bank for nettles, docks, brambles and the tougher grasses it gives a window of opportunity to try and establish a more diverse suite of vegetation which includes many of our beautiful native wildflowers which find it hard to compete. Hopefully this summer these areas will be full of colour and nectar, appreciated by humans and invertebrates alike!
Byron's pool reserve is to gain a new pond or rather re-instate an old forgotten pond. Retrospective land surveys of the reserve had always shown the presence of a pond but over time and with much bramble growth and fallen trees it had become very hard to know if this was still the case. This week a team of tree surgeons undertook a massive clearance of the area and discovered that the old pond did in fact exist and was still holding some water. This fantastic discovery is most welcome news. The pond will be re-profiled and the area cleared a little more and hopefully by this spring it can be restored to it's former glory and then some!