Devon SSSI nature reserve and eco lodges - Maggie's Blog
Winkleigh has a new biodiversity project - to look at ponds in gardens and on farmland and see how much wildlife they support. So today we started with two of ours - the big pond that we cleared of fish in 2008 and the smaller 'old slurry pit' pond where we still have lots of carp, rudd, roach, tench etc.
Although I knew the fish in the slurry pit pond would have eaten most of the invertebrate 'wee beasties' I wasn't sure whether the main pond would have had time to develop much yet. But it was pretty encouraging, producing caddis fly larvae, water stick insects, diving beetles, water shrimps and even newtpoles - baby newts. And I've seen damsel fly larvae there before - and there are masses of adult damsel and dragonflies around when the sun comes out.
By contrast the fish-stocked pond produced almost nothing of note and had much more turbid water. Tomorrow I'll go out and do some other water quality tests - for pH, nitrate and nitrite.
And it will be very interesting to compare what we have with other ponds nearby.
Here's a broad bodied chaser perched on a bulrush.