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Welcome to the West Wickham Commons Newsletter covering West Wickham Common and Spring Park.
|Volunteers help to clear the pond|
In June, the West Wickham and Spring Park (WWaSP) volunteer group and rangers donned
gloves and waders to tackle overgrown vegetation in the pond at Spring Park. The pond is
an important habitat for many different species (chiefly frogs, newts and invertebrates)
but requires a regular removal of plants such as reedmace and mares tail that when left
unchecked can easily take over the pond. Once the group removed the majority of the
reeds from the pond, piles were made near to the pond edge, creating habitats for small
creatures to crawl into. This also reduces the amount of nutrients overloading the pond
that can otherwise encourage algae and smother aquatic wildlife. Even with the dry
summer months, the pond now looks in great shape with plenty of life above and beneath
Spotting dragonflies at Spring Park
The pond at spring park is a brilliant place to stop and look for dragonflies as they dart
across the water holding dominion over their territories. Dragonflies base their entire lives
in and around ponds and have three life stages: egg, larvae (also known as nymph) and
In summer, female adult dragonflies are regularly spotted laying their eggs onto the surface
of water. They do this by repeatedly dipping the tips of their abdomens into water, each
time releasing one or more eggs that settle below the surface. The eggs can hatch in as
little as 2-5 weeks. However, much of the life of a dragonfly is spent during the larval stage.
During this time the dragonfly catches and eats live prey at every opportunity, moulting a
further 5–14 times until it is fully-grown. Larval development typically takes one or two
years. Dragonfly larvae undergo an impressive transformation into their adult form by
climbing up emergent vegetation and moulting, leaving behind beautifully
preserved exoskeletons. The photo shows a freshly emerged dragonfly found whilst
clearing back vegetation before being carefully moved.
Photo: Bridget Hogan (WWaSP volunteer)
|Paving the way for winter|
Sections of woodland path at Spring Park that were heavily afflicted by winter rain and
mud have been repaired and resurfaced making access easier for walkers. The stone was
manoeuvred into place and spread using a tractor before being tamped down to provide a
level surface. The repairs to the path will limit the damage to the surrounding woodland
where desire lines have appeared throughout the winter.
To be added to the mailing list for volunteering and updates on where to meet and times etc., please email us.
Friday 29 July 10am-3.30pm – West Wickham Common
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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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