Relief from the drought

After months of warm, hot, dry, and windy weather, ponds are drying up – even the lined one,  we now have thunder storms bringing in a meaningful rainfall at last.

One would expect that ponds dug out of a railway would have literally no chance of keeping any water in.  But two have clay bottoms.   This retains enough water for resident wildlife.   The pictures below illustrate how seasons bring change.

Summer 2020

Above: This pond is the largest of three which reduces to approximately to half its size. ( 8 metres x 2.5 metres) Plants like Purple Loosestrife and Rosebay Willow Herb are yet to flower.   These are later summer plants and are essential for pollinators.   Far too many Bulrushes are growing up now.  We try to prevent this by taking their seed heads off in late summer.   In winter the pond greatly increases its size as in the picture below.

Winter pond after cutting back foliage.

In Winter this Ebb & Flow pond is at its largest. (17 metres x 5 metres)  The Common Newt has abandoned life in the pond to take shelter under stones etc. until Spring.  The  Larvae (or Nymph) of  the larger Dragonflies are hiding in the debris of plants on the bottom of the pond, feeding on anything they can, emerging in Spring.   Some take 2- 4 years to grow.