The Heathland Heartlands volunteers have been spending some time undertaking management tasks on Greencroft Lowland Heath, a SSSI situated near Annfield Plain.
Andrew, a new addition to the team, had reported that one of the heathland ponds he visits regularly was on the verge of drying up and had very little open water for breeding amphibians and invertebrates. The pond was becoming encroached with reeds and Typhae. The Heathland Heartlands team got to work and spent a morning getting very smelly and wet opening up this hidden pond, formed within a crater from a Second World War bomb.
Fortunately, only one of us fell in and lost their welly – Carole! She blames the dragonflies that were ‘chasing’ her at the time. Unfortunately I couldn’t get my camera out quick enough.
The second heathland pond has a larger area of open water and needed little management. However due to anti-social behavior there were large quantities of bottles and litter in and around it. The pond had been surveyed in the past and among many other water loving species there are records of great crested newts. The litter posed a problem and, if left, could have a detrimental effect on the wetland community as a whole.
A boat was brought in for the watery litter pick as the pond was too deep for waders and Carole didn’t fancy another swim. Whilst the three sea-legged volunteers collected litter from the pond the rest of us stayed on land and thinned an area of scrub that had been encroaching on the heathland habitat.
It was hard work overall but we were very pleased with the amount achieved.
Heathland heartland Project Officer