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Wildlife Pond

 

Wildlife Pond

 

In the unique ecosystem surrounding a bog garden, a diverse array of plants and animals thrive in the moist, nutrient-rich environment. Among the flora, several species have adapted specialized features to survive in this challenging habitat.

Sphagnum moss, a dominant plant, forms dense carpets that retain water, creating the characteristic boggy conditions. This moss also contributes to the formation of peat, a carbon-rich soil. Alongside it, carnivorous plants like the round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) and the common butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris) find their home. These remarkable species have evolved to supplement their nutrient intake by trapping and digesting insects. Their brightly colored, sticky leaves or glandular surfaces are marvels of adaptation.

Tall reeds and rushes, such as common reed (Phragmites australis) and lesser bulrush (Typha angustifolia), tower over the bog, providing shelter and nesting sites for various creatures. Their dense growth helps stabilize the soil and provides refuge for small mammals, amphibians, and insects.

Speaking of creatures, the bog garden is a bustling habitat for a myriad of wildlife specific to the Midlands. Amphibians like common frogs (Rana temporaria) and common toads (Bufo bufo) are abundant, taking advantage of the damp environment for breeding and foraging.

Dragonflies and damselflies, with their dazzling aerial displays, are common predators in the bog garden. Species such as the common hawker (Aeshna juncea) and the blue-tailed damselfly (Ischnura elegans) rely on the abundance of insects attracted to the bog’s plants and water for their sustenance.

From the specialized flora to the diverse array of wildlife, every element contributes to the unique beauty and biodiversity of this remarkable habitat.

 

 

Some of the Wildlife you might see here…

Common Frog

The common frog (Rana temporaria), native to the UK, is a familiar amphibian with smooth skin, typically green or brown, often adorned with dark markings. These versatile creatures inhabit a variety of habitats, from gardens to woodlands, and are often found near ponds, where they breed in spring.

They undergo a remarkable transformation from tadpole to frog. Despite their small size, around 6 to 9 centimeters, they play a crucial role in the ecosystem by controlling insect populations.

Threats like habitat loss and pollution have impacted their populations, emphasizing the need for conservation efforts to protect these iconic amphibians.

Dragonflies

Around our ponds, several species of dragonflies can be found, including the common darter (Sympetrum striolatum), the migrant hawker (Aeshna mixta), and the emperor dragonfly (Anax imperator). The common darter is one of the most frequently seen dragonflies in the region, with its distinctive red-brown coloration and characteristic perching behavior.

The migrant hawker, with its blue-green body and yellow markings, is also common, especially around late summer and early autumn. The emperor dragonfly, one of the largest species, is often spotted patrolling ponds with its impressive aerial prowess, making it another common sight in the East Midlands.

 

Pond Skaters

There are nine species of pond skater in the UK, which range between 1-2cm in length. Often seen in large groups, they ‘skate’ around on the surface of the water in ponds, lakes, ditches and slow-flowing rivers, feeding on smaller insects which they stab with their sharp mouthparts or ‘beaks’. The common pond skater emerges from hibernation in April and lays its eggs. Hatching soon after, the nymphs go through a number of moults.

The brownish-black, long-legged common pond skater is only likely to be confused with the smaller, thinner, more fragile-looking common water-measurer, or the smaller, chunkier, shorter-legged water cricket.

Common pond skaters have water-repellent hairs on the bottom of their feet, enabling them to walk on the surface film of the water. They hunt by detecting vibrations in this film.

Some of the Flora
you might see here…

A Plant

Some info

Another Plant

plant info

And Another Plant

Plant info

 

Rainwater Harvest

 

 

Collecting rainwater means we don’t use water from the taps for most of our water needs. It also means that water is held on site which, if everyone with a roof did it, would help to reduce flooding.

The rain is collected in the tank which overflows when full into the bog garden. When the bog garden is full it overflows into the pond. Water supply and two habitats sustained by a simple gutter and downpipe!

 

Images From Around the Garden