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Volunteers dive in to help restore the pond
In July, the WWaSP volunteers were out again on Spring Park, this time working on clearing the pond. Over time, natural ponds change very quickly; in the summer, vegetation bursts into life and there can be phenomenal growth when the conditions are right! Thick carpets of aquatic plants can advance and open water can soon become hard to find. As an important habitat for a wide variety of amphibians, insects and birds, the pond’s ideal state is a good mixture of open water, vegetated banks and submerged plants to help keep oxygen levels high below the water. The pond required a much-needed bit of TLC and restoring it to a better state was them aim of last month’s volunteer task at Spring Park.
Donning waders and armed with rakes, the group got to task to pull the overgrown vegetation. The cuttings, once removed, were piled and left by the edge of the pond in mounds. These microhabitats are favoured by animals including frogs, toads and newts and will rot down over a long period of time.
Have you seen a brown hairstreak?
August marks the peak of the season for seeing adult brown hairstreak butterflies at Spring Park; from July until mid-September, the golden wings of this butterfly soar atop high branches of trees while it feeds off aphid honeydew.
The egg laying behaviour offers a better chance to spot brown hairstreaks and it is the females that are most frequently seen as they disperse widely along hedgerows where they lay conspicuous white eggs on young Blackthorn shoots. Much work has taken place over the last decade to create the ideal conditions for egg laying at Spring Park; a strip of blackthorn along the edge of the park nearest the office is carefully managed on a four year rotation. This gives the perfect balance of young blackthorn saplings suitable for egg laying.
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The City of London Corporation has seven green spaces in South London and Surrey covered by three charities: Ashtead Common, Coulsdon Commons and West Wickham Commons. Each charity has its own Newsletter and you can now:
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