Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve, near Yate and Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire.

The Nature Reserve is run by the Wapley Bushes Conservation Group, a small group of volunteers.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tadpoles ahoy, and report from workday 18/05/08

Mary, Dave and Val cropping overhanging branches

A good workday today. We concentrated on removing small stumps and regrowth from the field edges that the contractor cleared for us a few months ago, so that the grass can be cut without damage to the cutter blades. Even so they will have to set the blades very high, but it will stop the blackthorn and other species from invading the meadow again. We also cut back some overhanging branches so that the tractor can get right in close to the hedges.

On our way round we stopped to look at the top pond, and were very pleased to see some tadpoles there for the first time. This is more significant than it sounds, as this pond used to be relatively bereft of life. Over the last couple of years we've worked to improve the pond. First we had it dug out deeper so that it holds water for more of the year. Then we planted marginal plants along the edge and on the bank, and we had some of the tree canopy cut back to let in more light.

It appears that we're succeeding in increasing the biodiversity of the pond - there's now a range of water life, both plants and insects. And now invertebrates - we're not sure yet whether they are toads or frogs. Very pleasing.

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