Playing in Our Ponds – 17 May 2016

thumb_P1030460_1024Frogbit, Crowsfoot, Yellow Flag, Bogbean and … Yes all these freshwater aquatic plants and more were prepared and planted by a dozen enthusiastic Findhorn Hinterland Trust members in the wildlife ponds on the southern edge of Wilkies Wood.  Froglife staff, Claire and Alistair, who are part of the Scottish Dragon Finder Project set up five years ago to raise awareness and help our native amphibians and reptiles, were there with all the equipment and knowledge to help us.  It was a chance to learn and play together – one way of enjoying a second childhood whilst creating habitat for our fellow creatures.

thumb_P1030483_1024These ponds are part of a network in the area providing important freshwater and wetland habitats.  In an interactive presentation in the afternoon, we learnt that in the UK only 3% of the land is covered by these habitats yet they support 10% of our species and that 70% of freshwater flora and fauna are found in ponds.  Over 80% of UK ponds are in poor condition.  It was good to know that we were helping out in a practical way with something that is important!

thumb_P1030468_1024As well as planting we had a chance to create hibernacula –overwintering shelters for frogs and toads – but one of the highlights was to be able to pond dip and explore what has already colonised our ponds.  Great and Lesser Diving beetles, mayfly and damselfly larvae, tadpoles, bloodworms and pond skaters were all there and even common frogs and palmate newts.  Dipping equipment and identification charts were left and we were shown the app that has been set up so that we can record sightings of reptiles and amphibians to help in the nationwide campaign for their conservation.

 Find out more and join us next time.  Have a look at more pictures here.

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Findhorn Hinterland Trust, Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) SC045806
228 Pineridge, Findhorn, Forres, Moray IV36 3TB