Given that pond clearance is not a particularly popular activity it was good to have six volunteers and three reasonable apologies for the morning’s work of trying to rid the water vole scrape of the Typha (reedmace) that was threatening to take over the newish extension.
So Judi, Julie, Mark A, Mark T, Masha and Mick proceeded to try and dig out by the roots what Typha they could. The day turned out warm, with lots of spiders and other creatures bobbing about in the pond, and good humour as mud splattered everywhere…
As it turned out it was quite hard work and despite six of us we only cleared around 50% of the area, so the rest will have to wait until the 3rd December when we can hopefully carry on with removing more, along with cutting back 50% of the Phragmites (common reed) in the older section of the scrape.
There was much other plant life trying to compete against the Typha, and hopefully by knocking it back on a regular basis, the habitat will balance.
The next work party will be on much firmer and less smelly land with us needing to do some coppicing in Blue Beck Copse on Sunday 19th November. Although we have coppiced regularly, and erected bird boxes, the copse is looking in need of attention, including finding one of the elm saplings. It hoped that Leilah, a professional willow weaver, will join us to make use of the hazel and willow we cut back. Blue Beck Copse is at the north of the site, below New Meadow and adjacent to the cycle track as it crosses the Blue Beck running under the Barrier Bank.