Pond life, rat runs and sweet­peas

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

THE speaker at the last club meet­ing was Paul Ross, a good friend of the club.

He came to talk on the pond newly in­stalled in his gar­den and brought a bucket full of wa­ter and pond life!

In or­der to de­velop a pond in his gar­den Paul had to de­mol­ish a shed which was home to a fam­ily of rats. He had to clear out the rat runs much to the dis­gust of his jack rus­sell, and dig the re­quired 2.5 x 2.5 me­tres which he could ac­com­mo­date in his gar­den.

Around the pond he planted a great deal of flow­ers which at­tract but­ter­flies and in­sects and in the pond it­self he set wa­ter plants which would at­tract pond life.

Paul put on a video show­ing the va­ri­ety of plants which he de­signed to flower at dif­fer­ent times of the year, bud­dleia, nettles, astilbe, flag iris, poppies, sweet­peas, hon­ey­suckle and more.

From the bucket he had brought Paul scooped out mugs of wa­ter into plas­tic tub’s which proved to be alive the small crea­tures – wa­ter boat­men, leeches, fluke thread­worms. These lit­tle crea­tures had ar­rived very quickly once there was plant life in the pond. There were no fish per­mit­ted as they eat ev­ery­thing that Paul wanted to see liv­ing in his new pond.

Fol­low­ing re­fresh­ments, raf­fle and no­tices about the forth­com­ing tea to Western Turville, Bob and Paul dis­cussed the on-go­ing work in the River Mis­bourne, to clear it from over­grown banks and rub­bish. There is also a project mon­i­tor­ing the in­ver­te­brates now able to pop­u­late the river, which un­for­tu­nately in­clude’s the in­va­sive pest the Amer­i­can Sig­nal Cray­fish.

It ap­peared that sev­eral streams and rivers which used to flow freely are now chocked with reeds, bram­bles, rub­bish and more and can no longer sup­port pond life. All wa­ter, weeds and creepy crawlies were re­turned to the bucket and trans­ported safely home af­ter a very in­for­ma­tive and amus­ing evening.

The club re­sumes on Septem­ber 13 with a visit from Coun­cil­lor Mimi Harker from Che­sham Dis­trict Coun­cil. New mem­bers or guests are al­ways wel­come.

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