Category Archives: Conservation

Ecoplugs in action on Fleet Pond island

This short film shows how the team are using Ecoplugs to control tree growth on islands in Fleet Pond.

When you cut down leaf trees, they quickly start to sprout again. An Ecoplug provides an effective way to deal with this. By inserting the plug into a stump, you can kill the tree and stop regrowth.

Ecoplugs reduce the use of chemicals by 90% compared to traditional methods of treating felled leaf trees.

Here the team are using them to control tree growth on one of the islands. They’re applying Ecoplugs to fresh wood immediately after felling. The plan is to prevent regrowth and allow reeds to become established on the island.

Conservation work at Sandy Bay

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This week the team has been cutting back scrub and bramble along the Gelvert Stream as it runs into Sandy Bay. The left bank has been left with cover.

Controlling scrub in this area will allow different types of plants to grow, and by letting light on the water, we can try and increase the diversity of aquatic plants in the stream.

Come Spring, we will see plenty of new growth.

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Butterflies And Wildflowers At Fleet Pond

The butterfly for May, the Orange Tip (credit, Wikipedia)

With the arrival of the warm weather, many readers will doubtless be taking walks round the Pond.

Whilst doing this, it’s interesting to try to identify any butterflies and wildflowers seen along the way. Fortunately, members of Fleet Pond Society (FPS) have written a fascinating series of articles on these topics that you might find interesting and helpful.

Peter Martin, President of FPS, has written quite a few butterfly posts that have proven to be very popular. Here are two examples:

Butterflies Around The Pond – Have You Seen Any?

Extract:

“Although over 30 different species of butterfly have been recorded at Fleet Pond, some may not be easily seen as they tend to stay in the areas in which they bred.

Westover Road – Speckled Wood: Where the path starts at the end of Westover Road towards Wood Lane there are patches of bramble which, when in flower, provide a good nectar source for the Speckled Wood. This is a butterfly that likes areas dappled with sun and shade and it is most noticeable when settled on bramble with its wings wide open. As it has several generations, it can be seen from March until September.”

Butterflies At The Pond – 2013

Extract (Butterfly Of The Month: May – The Orange Tip; see picture at top):

“Although a few may have been seen during April, May is the month when there are often lots of Orange Tips flying around Fleet Pond. The footpath from Avondale Road alongside the Brookly Stream is often a good place to see them (see map on About page above). Like a large number of insects and animals, nature seems to make the male of the species more colourful and this is particularly true of the Orange Tip.”

In addition, Michelle Salter has written a wonderfully illustrated series of articles on some of the wildflowers that can be seen around the Pond at different times of the year, see:

Keep An Eye Out For These Attractive Flowers

Here’s an extract (from the post May Wildflower Watch):

Bogbean at Hemelite Bay

“The pretty, white flowers of Bogbean have been appearing along the edges of the reedbeds at Hemelite Bay. Bogbean is a creeping aquatic perennial that grows along the sides of lakes, ponds or slow-flowing rivers. Often forming large colonies, Bogbean plants help to protect the greenery of the reedbeds against damage from Canada Geese.

Bogbean flowers

The flower buds of Bogbean are rose-pink and open up into feathery white stars as the petals are fringed with white threads. The plant has distinctive three-lobed shiny leaves raised on long stalks to avoid shade. The leaves of Bogbean have been used to flavour beer, giving the plant the alternative name of ‘bog hop’.”

The wildflower photographs are courtesy of Michelle Salter.

Volunteer Event This Sunday, 13 May

There will be a volunteer event at Fleet Pond this coming Sunday and all are welcome to attend (see below for registering).

We meet as usual at the Countryside Workshop, Old Pump House Close, Fleet, GU51 3DN at 9.15 a.m. Please park in Kenilworth Road as parking is very restricted at the workshop.

For further information and booking for this event (which is essential as tools and resources have to be planned beforehand), please contact Hart Countryside Services:

Phone: 01252 623443
 Email: countryside@hart.gov.uk

The Sunday volunteer tasks are supervised by a Hart Countryside Ranger together with members of Fleet Pond Society.