Out with the old, in with the view

This winter the Blackwater Valley crew returned to Darby Green Pond to follow up on the success of last years tasks.

The Parrot’s Feather we began removing in 2017 has been significantly fought back. The volunteers doned the waterproof gloves and braved the cold to remove the remaining patches of the invasive non-native plant that was lurking around the pond edges.

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Duncan and Jeremy removing Floating Pennywort from the pond

Bobbie, Duncan and Jeremy went ever further in with their waders to remove a patch of Floating Pennywort that had appeared in the middle of the pond. Delving into the cold water they pulled up as much of the plant roots as possible to stop it coming back. Both the Parrots Feather and Floating Pennywort fragments were then piled in the woods over 5m from the pond. Bobbie, working closely with the Environment Agency, will be checking the pond and Blackwater river to ensure wherever this invasive non-native plant returns it is tackled as soon as possible.

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Jon, Sarah and Tony clearing the view

The volunteers also did a fantastic job of cutting back access paths and creating a better view of the pond by removing overhanging branches and cutting back fallen trees. Jon and Sarah can be seen above cutting back a tree that has fallen over the stream as it enters the pond. Tony, Melvyn and Andrew to the right are cutting back overhanging branches with the pole saw.

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The view now, after Bobbie and Jeremy had cleared the remaining trees

Jeremy, Bobbie and I finished up last week. Using our chainsaws we felled hazardous trees and chipped the leftover brash. Along with the extensive litterpick by Paul, that saw us taking home a trailer load of rubbish, the site is once again looking loved.

Thank you to everyone who joined me on site to help.

Ranger Jenny

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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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