Ponds at Carrick’s Haugh on the North West tip of Derwent reservoir have become inundated with water horsetail, an invasive plant which if left unchecked will choke and suffocate the pond, decreasing its potential biodiversity for newts, dragon flies and other water creatures.
The partnership between Northumbrian Water and the two North East Wildlife Trust’s Durham and Northumberland came together on their yearly partner’s event, on Friday the 5th of October to share a conservation task. Last year Whittledene sewage treatment works in Northumberland had the makeover, so this year it was Carrick’s Haugh Wetland’s turn to get benefit from mass volunteer help.
Water horsetail roots go deep, so raking has little effect on their tenacious hold. Each fragment of broken horsetail has the potential to become another plant! So it was scythes once again to the fore for the team, striking the horsetail at their base, cutting the plant like reeds which could then be raked to the side of the pond to be composted.
Thank you to Dan Chapman Project officer for Northumberland Wildlife Trust who brought his team of volunteers to help. Thank you also to Northumbrian Water who kindly provided the refreshments.