Flagship Ponds

Monday, June 9th 2014

Our Wetland was created from a boggy area of moorland during the winter of 2008/9. A series of pools were dug with water levels controllable via a series of sluices and adjustable pipes. The ponds were designed such that there was 4km of edge, providing habitat for a wide variety of species including Water Voles, which were released on site during 2009, and for wading birds to breed.

Since its creation the vegetation has grown well, and now supports a diverse and complex vegetation community, in turn supporting a wide range of invertebrate life.

We have just been accepted into The Freshwater Habitats Trust's Flagship Pond Scheme for ponds across the reserve as part of their People Ponds & Water project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. For more information see their website here. This is also supported by Natural England and recognises areas that are of particular value because they support Biodiversity Action Plan species and very rich assemblages of plants and creatures. This acknowledges that ponds here on the reserve are some of the best in the country in terms of biodiversity. The project aims to help support our work here, ensuring their quality is maintained.

This morning we walked the wetland checking the water levels and we were astounded at the diversity of plants flowering just now. Vetches showed a vivid burst of colour amongst the grasses and were punctuated with the blues of Speedwells and yellows of Buttercups and Tormentil.

Marsh Cinquefoil was found in one of the 'protected' ponds where no work can be carried out due to the presence of a rare mud snail, Omphiscola glabra, found at only a few locations in the country.

Lousewort is now spreading out from the wetland and has been found at numerous other locations on the moorland. This locally rare plant is semi-parasitic drawing nutrients from plants growing near by.

If you follow our blog you might remember the days and weeks volunteers have spent clearing coarse rushes from this area. This year they have grown much less vigorously and are less dense across the habitat, allowing a richer plant community to flourish. Thank you all again for your hard work and perseverance with this management programme, we are definitely starting to reap the benefits of our hard work!
 


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