The Friday team worked hard today to clear the fish pond on the Avondale Plot next door. This plot is used regularly by the Grace Eyre Foundation. The bullrushes had started to take over and the fish were becoming very over crowded with little room left to manoeuvre. First we had to ensure there was somewhere for the water creatures to be housed whilst the pond was being cleared — Steve took care of this — ensuring we had enough filled water butts set up the day before, with low chlorinated water at the right temperature. Then the fish, newts, frogs, and water snails had to be caught and transferred. We held a sweep stake on the number of fish - turned out there were 60 in all!
Dragonfly nymphs were found dwelling in the sludge and these too were carefully transferred. Gary recognised what they were. He was able to tell us about their life cycle and how they live in this stage for several years, as aggressive predators of other pond life, before embarking on their metamorphic transformation into adult dragonflies.
All the sloshing of water into the nearby herb beds disturbed a nesting mouse hidden under the rosemary bush, who quickly moved her babies out one by one to drier ground. Beatrix Potter stories came to mind. Then, once the excess reeds and sludge had been removed we refilled the pond and re-introduced the wildlife.
Steve has reported that the fish are now spawning.