Following on from our Community project morning at Warren Pond in November, on a frosty and cold January morning we carried out some more useful practical improvements there to benefit the habitat.
Firstly a Hibernaculum was constructed on the north side of the pond near to the fence line of Florida Road. This is basically an underground chamber that amphibians and reptiles can use throughout the winter to protect themselves from the cold, so this could benefit frogs, toads, newts and lizards. The chamber was dug to a depth of around 50cm, and then filled with some hardcore, then old tree branches and logs, and covered over with an amount of soil which had been dug out to create the chamber. The final result looked like a raised mound, and access by the wildlife can be gained in the gaps left betwen the logs and also some pieces of guttering which will act as walkways.
During the digging, we fould an amazing total of SEVEN Stag Beetles, all of which were alive, and one large grub or larvae. All of them were carefully returned to their underground habitat for another day.
Nearby to the Hibernaculum we also started constructing a “dead hedge” – this is an upright structure consisting of woody garden cuttings contained within vertical wooden stakes, so it forms a perpetual hedge. This can be added to over time as it slowly rots down and will provide a great habitat for small birds such as Robins, Wrens and Dunnocks, as well as many small mammals again.
More sensitive work to improve the habitat is planned in partnership with the Parish Council in the months to come, and thank you to the good people who helped out on the day.