One of the first outings that I had after the first lockdown was to Woodberry Wetlands. It was in the spring so apart from the lovely spring flowers, New River, which runs alongside the wetlands, was bursting with fluffy ducklings, squeaky moorhen chicks and an elegant swan family. Check back to the blog to see them all in action.
Woodberry Wetlands is one of the wildlife areas managed by the London Wildlife Trust – who also look after 36 other wildlife/nature reserves in London – from Oak Hill Wood in Barnet to Crane Park Island near Whitton to West Kent Golf Course near Orpington where ‘in the rough grass, errant golf balls look like puffball mushrooms and a natural habitat boasts beautiful butterflies and awesome orchids’.
And this month they have a special fund raising appeal for their ponds.
To quote their fundraising site:
London’s pond wildlife depends on you. Can you help us protect it with a winter clean-up?
Ponds provide food, water, and a breeding place for a huge range of species, from newts and frogs, to dragonflies and reptiles, as well as birds and small mammals, such as hedgehogs and bats.
Every year in London more ponds are lost than are created, which has a devastating impact on both wildlife and us. Our ponds are under threat from pollution, silting up, or from terrestrial vegetation which encroaches into the water and dries them out – and they depend on us to bring them up to scratch this winter.
We had to pause some of our work quickly in response to the ongoing pandemic this year. But as winter approaches, we have our work cut out. With your help, we can carry out the essential work that your local ponds need, making them ready for the coming spring’s wildlife to flourish.
Although often sidelined in the news, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of ponds and freshwater to our ecosystems and our very survival. They support a huge variety of pollinating insects, such as bees and hoverflies, which we depend upon to fertilise the fruit and crops that we eat. What’s more, ponds are one of our most vital habitats for biodiversity, supporting at least 72 of our nationally rare species, from the scarce emerald damselfly to seed-eating birds like the turtle dove, whose populations are in deep trouble and who rely on accessible freshwater to wash down their dry food.
- £15 could purchase 5 pairs of gauntlets so that our volunteers can carry out their winter pond maintenance work
- £48 could purchase a set of chest waders to enable our staff and volunteers to tend to the deeper water areas and pond islands
- £60 could pay to repair decking and pond dipping platforms for visitors and children to enjoy and learn about pond wildlife and how it needs our care
Or you could just sign up to be a member for £2.50 a month which means that you will get a regular and totally delightful newsletter filled glorious images of London wildlife. I think these are normally monthly but, bless them, during lockdown they have been sending them out weekly to cheer up all those people cooped up within their four walls and so totally out of touch which what was going on in the wetlands and woodlands around them.