A park pond is a very special place for wildlife. St Andrews Park has had a pond for at least 20 years and we are hoping to recreate this wildlife area. Some of the money raised at recent Music in the Park events was for a new pond, and you can see the plans on John Mayne’s discussion page.

What can a wildlife pond offer? Over the years you may have sat and watched the frogs and newts returning to spawn, or marvelled at the darting dragonflies and damselflies in their glorious blues and greens hunting over the surface or resting on the yellow irises. Perhaps you followed the trails of the slowly grazing pond snails, (we have 3 species) or, in the past, noticed the spectacular display of the tall purple marsh woundwort.

What happened to the old pond? A few years ago the original pond developed a leak. Over several weekends, a group of Friends got together and a new butyl liner was laid and the pond restocked with plants, many donated by local people. Unfortunately this did not last long as the plants were removed and the liner damaged in several places.

Is there anything in the pond now? YES! Attempts at restocking and repair were generally unsuccessful and today there is only water in the pond after heavy rain. Despite this, the frogs and newts return annually to raise another generation, I saw a dragonfly (a broad-bodied chaser) in June 2007 and red and blue damselflies continue to lay their eggs among the prolific bright green Parrots Feather, which is the only plant to survive.

What’s next? Visit the pond in the park, and, if you have the opportunity, tell other people you meet there about the park plans and this website, so everyone can be involved. Tell us if you see something of interest; if you have any questions, ask them here and perhaps someone will be able to answer them. Watch the website for news of when the new pond is started.

Jo Corke

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