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  • Writer's pictureSteeple Woods

Ponds Project update #2

The volunteers, lead by Chris-2, have been busy with the Ponds Project over the last few months.

As well as making sure that the water supply to the ponds is strong enough to stop them running dry and the ponds themselves are in good order, we have had another delivery of aquatic life to rehome.

Volunteers Chris-1 and Lorna have kindly donated some mini-beasts from their own well stocked garden pond to help boost the pondlife at the Reserve.

Container of water with small Frogbit plants and Daphnia.
Frogbit and Daphnia ready to move into the ponds.

The tiny red dots in the picture above are Daphnia. Under a microscope these amazing tiny creatures look like this:

Photograph of a single Daphnia under a microscope.
Daphnia under a microscope. 200 microns is 8 thousandths of an inch in "old money".

Sometimes (unfairly we think) they are also known as Water Fleas. We are hoping that they will act as a food source for all manner of slightly bigger mini-beasts as well as the frogs and newts. You can read all about Daphnia here.

The sharp-eyed among you will also have noticed that there are some small plants in with the Daphnia. These are Frogbit seedlings. Frogbit is an aquatic plant that grows like a small water lilly and provides shade and cover for all manner of wildlife in the ponds. Hopefully, as the Frogbit grows it will encourage even more pondlife to take up residence. You can read more about Frogbit here.

In total the Ponds Project has now created a fantastic home for all of these native plants:

  • Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)

  • Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi)

  • Cuckoo Flower, aka Lady's Smock {Cardamine pratensis)

  • Hemp Agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum)

  • Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

  • Devil's Bit Scabious (Succisa pratensis)

  • Brooklime (Veronica beccabunga)

  • Water forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides)

  • Bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliata)

  • Water mint (Mentha aquatica)

  • Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis)

  • Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)

  • Maidenhair fern (Adiantum capillus veneris)

  • Hart's Tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium)

  • Celandine (Ficaria verna)

  • Frogbit (Hydrocharis Morsus Ranae)

  • Hornwort (Ceratophyllum dermersum)


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