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  • Bridgette Macilwaine

Pond regeneration at Coldean School

The discovering dew ponds project run by Froglife is addressing the loss of dewponds in the South Downs. Froglife have been a brilliant group to volunteer with as part of this dew pond regeneration at Coldean School in Brighton.


“It is estimated that 39% of the dewponds in this region have been lost, and many more are no longer visible in the landscape. In addition to reversing these losses, the project is raising awareness amongst local residents of the importance of dewponds to wildlife, particularly amphibians.”


These sessions with Froglife have been valuable for all involved to improve knowledge and skills regarding ponds, the wildife they support and their benefits to both wildlife and people, especially when located on school grounds, where the teachers have a proactive attitude towards the children learning outdoors and having the opportunity to be involved with caring for their pond.


Read more on the Froglife Discovering Dewponds Project here.

These workshops run by Froglife allowed for the below improvements to this school pond:

  • Removing the old liner;

  • Reprofiling the pond but still keeping the traditional dewpond shape to honour the historic dewpond site;

  • Adding new underlay and liner;

  • Scrub clearance in the immediate area;

  • Creation of a hibernaculum (overwintering area for amphibians and reptiles);

  • Creation of a log pile;

  • Creating planting pockets for plants to take hold in in the absence of shelves within the pond;

  • Adding pond plants to give it a head start, these will spread and grow in time;

  • Adding logs and pebbles to create a natural look around the pond.


🌱 HANDY HINT:

"A hibernaculum is an underground, protective 'Winter quarters for wildlife' for amphibians such as frogs, toads and newts to help them survive a cold winter."


Plants added included

Newt friendly:

  • Brooklime - Veronica beccabunga

  • Water forget-me-not - Myosotis scorpioides

  • Watercress - Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum

Dragonfly friendly:

  • Arrowhead - Sagittaria sagittifolia

  • Lesser pond sedge - Carex acutiformis

  • Flowering rush - Butomus umbellatus

Good early flowering, shelter giving plant:

  • Marsh marigold - Caltha palustris

Excellent oxygenator:

  • Hornwort - Ceratophyllum demersum

Further conversations with the PTFA regarding finishing touches include:

  • adding paving slabs around the front of the pond for ease of access;

  • constructing a dipping/access platform;

  • additional bark chippings to the immediate surrounds of the pond and possibly seeding some grass seed;

  • addition of damp, shade tolerant shrubs/plants within the fenced areas.

 

Thanks for reading, any questions we would love to hear from you!

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