Digging at Barton Meadow

 

Have some faith girl! We're not expecting to need the help of deities for this pond to fill

Have some faith girl! We're not expecting to need the help of deities for this pond to fill

This is one of the three ponds created this week at Barton Meadow by Abingdon Naturalists (with advice from Pond Conservation).

Although it looks like nothing special, it’s actually carefully designed for water voles, which are common here, to prevent too rapid spread of tall reeds into the pond to keep some open areas for the voles as the pond matures. Soils are nutrienty here, and with no grazing, previous experience shows that shallow depresssions disappear completely in a short time because the Reed Sweet Grass, sedges and other tall emergents grow very quickly in these conditions.

To prevent encroachment, and because there’s no grazing to keep very shallow water open, the margins of this pond are much steeper than we would normally make – so these margins are STEEP (many ponds are dug like this – they have much too little shallow water in them).

On the right is a water vole bank – for burrows, and facing south to provide a warm sunny spot that voles like to sit on and eat their lunches.

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