The start of a new month brought with it the start of a new unit. This time it was Environmental Interpretation. Bruce Fergerson of Wild North Discovery came to train us on the many types of environmental interpretation. To put this knowledge into practice we are designing some interpretation panels for Chase Park in Whickham. We are currently collating survey results that we gathered by chatting to people in the park itself. This information along with facts that local historians, the Friends of Chase Park and Gateshead Council have supplied us with will then be immortalised on exciting new panels that will be installed next year. Who knew so much background research and collaboration went into these informative panels!
This week we met with DWT Project Officer Laura Tedstone at Edmondsley Primary School, where we had the task of rejuvenating a pond. Due to a leak in the lining, the existing pond at Edmondlsey was looking very sad with barely any water and too many weeds. We got stuck in there, removing pond plants, water and…..frogs! We ended up carefully rescuing around ten frogs. It’s hard to give exact figures as these frogs were particularly good at escaping the temporary accommodation we had provided them (executive buckets).
Once the pond was clear of plants and animals, we removed the old lining. We could see clearly the layers and different depths of the pond which is a really important feature for biodiversity. We replaced the lining with a shiny new one and refilled the pond with a healthy amount of pond plants and the water that we salvaged. Meanwhile teachers brought out groups of school children who are and looking forward to pond dipping again soon. We must also thank the frogs at this point for providing a very exciting addition to the pond talk. This was a lovely rewarding day for WildGround as we saw the task through from start to finish and left knowing we had provided not only a fruitful new habitat but an excellent learning resource for the pupils.