The group of ecologists tasked with keeping the A14 project on track with its environmental responsibilities came for a day of respite last week to Byron’s Pool reserve. They are hardly ever all in one place at the same time so they welcomed the chance to work together on some practical tasks, main job for the day was clearing out the blocked fish pass at the reserve which they tackled with gusto! They also did some more mellow work on the new wild flower meadow doing some strategic…

The conservation volunteers made an early start on subduing the invasive marginal plant, Himalayan Balsam. It’s pretty yes, and later in the season a good food source for invertebrates agreed, but still there’s no room for complacency. Without a firm hand this plant has the potential to completely dominate a stream side or riverbank. Therefore sensitive management is needed. Last month the young plants were located and pulled up in the marsh area at Byron’s pool reserve. It’s easier to spot and remove them when everything is smaller…

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.

Stourbridge Common being a flooplain is perfectly suited to sustaining this type of habitat therefore four more pools were dug recently.