Parrot’s Feather Piques Curiosity at Pond

Yesterday we headed up for our first task at Darby Green Pond where we are working closely with Yateley Town Council and the BVC Trust to restore the pond and surrounding woodland. The historic pond was formed where the wet woodland stream was dammed by Darby Green Road. Our key priorities of the next three volunteer tasks are to; re-open up paths that have become blocked by fallen trees to improve visitor access, and start to remove invasive non-native weeds that have swamped the pond. The ecological survey we commissioned confirmed New Zealand Stonecrop (Crassula Helmsii) and Parrot’s Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum), the latter which is the most immediate concern.

After putting the tea on, Stu, Charlotte and Paul headed off to clear some of the wind thrown trees, whilst John and Gerry cleared some bramble. Mike bravely donned the chest waders to join me in the pond raking out Parrot’s Feather. It was hard work with lots of trial and error to find the most efficient method of forking it up, which even when loaded on to our boat was surprisingly heavy. The weed forms a dense tangled mat around a foot thick so it’s a good challenge.

Jenny and I modelling waders

Jenny and I modelling waders

 

A chain gang to rake out blocks of weed

A chain gang to rake out blocks of weed

Our technique evolved into pulling off a tangle of weed with a chrome (beefy rake) and passing it back along the chain to the shore to drain off. Later on reinforcements appeared but bizarrely I only had a glorious pink life jacket left by the time Andrew arrived…..

Parrot's Feather extent at the start of the day

Parrot’s Feather extent at the start of the day

A good days work with newly opened water

A good days work with newly opened water

The task went really well as I was surprised we managed to clear 20% of the Parrot’s Feather, an amazing effort. We’ll be heading back again on Thursday 8th December to cut back the paths, so if anyone would like to join us then please meet us in the Darby Green Centre Car Park at 10:15am. If you would like to find our more about this exciting project then please get in touch.

Ranger Stuart

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About blackwatervalleycountryside

The Blackwater Valley is located on the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire and runs for approximately 30km from the source near Aldershot, northwards to Swallowfield. At its confluence it joins the rivers Whitewater and Loddon. The Loddon eventually flows into the River Thames near Reading. Work in the Blackwater Valley is co-ordinated by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership on behalf of the local authorities that border the Valley. Despite being surrounded by urban development the Valley provides an important green corridor for local residents As well as the Blackwater Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a small part of the Basingstoke Canal SSSI, three nature reserves within the Valley catchment and many other areas have been recognised for their ecological importance. The local planning authorities covering the Valley have designated 31 other areas as ‘Wildlife Sites’.
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3 Responses to Parrot’s Feather Piques Curiosity at Pond

  1. Pingback: New Paths to Darby Green Pond | blackwatervalleycountryside

  2. Pingback: Parrot’s Feather and Frog’s Spawn at Darby Green Pond | blackwatervalleycountryside

  3. Pingback: Daring Digging at Darby Green Pond | blackwatervalleycountryside

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