Archive for the ‘Natural ponds’ Category

A New Forest pond…by Katy

May 4, 2009
A New Forest pond by Katy

A New Forest pond by Katy

I never did end the story of the New Forest bus-persons holiday.

So here is the conclusion: Katy’s picture of a New Forest pond (and we did go on the beach, and horse riding and watch the telly too – honest).

I know I’m in danger of fitting myself neatly into a number of well-known stereotypes with this post, but anyway….

Katy did this off her own bat: no help or suggestions with the picture were given at all. As far as I remember, I didn’t even suggest she do a picture like this, but she does like drawing.

So I was pretty impressed when she showed me the finished artcle. Her picture includes an amazingly good summary of what makes a New Forest pond tick: clean water, bare ground, mud and seasonal drawdown, along with a representation of two of Britain’s most threatened wild water plants (I checked with her: she really did mean the two rare plants I marked below on the drawing, which she saw).

Just goes to show you really shouldn’t underestimate children. 

Like all great works of art (!), a little grown-up interpretation  helps to increase one’s appreciation, so I attached a few labels to the picture (below) as explainers. Come to think of it, this would liven up some of our advice leaflets at work!

 

katynewforestannotated

And here are a couple of pictures of the special plants.

Britain's smallest fern, Pillwort, looks nothing like a fern, except when the tiny shoots come up curled up like a bishop's crozier, loves the edges of muddy, trampled, grazed and unpolluted ponds; it also likes the edges of clean lakes. The New Forest has probably hundreds of ponds where it still can live; outisde the forest water and ponds are generally too degraded for a plant like this.

Britain's smallest fern, Pillwort, looks nothing like a fern, except when the tiny shoots come up, curled up like a bishop's crozier. It loves the edges of muddy, trampled, grazed and unpolluted ponds; it also likes the edges of clean lakes. The New Forest has probably hundreds of ponds where it still can live; outside the forest, water and ponds are generally too degraded for a plant like this. The little balls at the bottom of each frond are the 'pills'.

Floating Water-plantain: this picture is from the website of Jonathon Briggs and independent canal ecologist (and all round good chap....)

Floating Water-plantain: this picture is from the website of Jonathon Briggs an independent canal ecologist (and all round good chap....)

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Practically perfect ponds: the New Forest

April 6, 2009
One of the best wildlife ponds we've ever seen

One of the best wildlife ponds we've ever seen

The New Forest is full of wonderful ponds: this is one.

Thousands (maybe ten of thousands) of tadpoles, a pond completely full of water plants including Lesser Marshwort, the endangered water fern Pillwort and Hampshire Purslane (the red leaves in the picture) which is only found in the New Forest. We also found Mud Snails – another endangered species which just can’t hack the modern countryside.

One small sadness – the dumped water lilies: this pond is quite close to a road and, like many such ponds, has attracted this unnatural addition from local gardens.

Why oh why oh why oh why do people always add water lilies to ponds: it's like drawing a smile on the Mona Lisa

Why oh why oh why oh why do people always add water lilies to ponds where they don't belong: it's like drawing a smile on the Mona Lisa

More news from our bus persons holiday later.

A very benign environment

December 7, 2008
Pond and air temperatures this week

Pond and air temperatures this week

This graph tells an interesting story.

In the pond, its been an almost constant 3-4 C over the last week or so, despite the cold weather.

Outside in the open air its been freezing every night, altogether a much harsher world.

It hadn’t really dawned on me quite how surprisingly benign a place the pond was until somebody I was showing the graph to today pointed it out to me.

Its been generally much warmer than the surroundings, as well as more constant, despite the days of cold weather.

The vertical lines are set at midnight – usually, but not always, a little before the coldest part of the night.

First dog ponds, now pig ponds

November 17, 2008

 

Pond made by Wild Boar in the Carmargue, France

Pond made by Wild Boar in the Carmargue, France

An even better example of a garden-pond sized pond, created quite naturally by our natural born pond maker, the Wild Boar.

This time in the Carmargue, where the boars also carry seeds and eggs from pond to pond – natural born dispersers of pond plants and animals.