New Pond (January 2017)
Excellent progress with the new pond
After only 16 months since it was excavated our new wildlife pond is developing well. You can see from the photos below how quickly the vegetation has established and spread. Most importantly we know that great crested and smooth newts have already found their way into the pond and are also breeding in the adjoining scrapes. Due to the very heavy dog traffic the pond is not clearing as hoped but with luck, as more vegetation establishes, this will happen and everyone will be able to see how the pond it is being colonized by all sorts of fascinating pondlife.
September 2015 September 2016 January 2017
Gatwick Airport Community Trust (added November 2016)
Thank you to Gatwick Airport Community Trust for giving us further funding in 2016. This money is being used for a number of exciting projects. In National Tree Week in November, volunteers will be planting a wildlife friendly hedge in the Quiet Garden. The trees in the hedge have been selected to provide food and shelter for birds and insects. They include a number of alder buckthorns which are the food plant of the beautiful brimstone butterfly. We hope to plant woodland wildflowers such as red campion, primrose and violets underneath to provide early Spring nectar. Our educational access area in Beacon Field has been enlarged by the construction of a mini outdoor classroom comprising a horseshoe of low benches on an all-weather hard standing. The GACT funding has also allowed us to consider how to encourage the bat population on the reserves and to this end we have used the grant to purchase a bat hibernaculum which now hangs in a large oak tree in Jenners Field. We know there are bats in this area and we are keeping our fingers crossed that a colony will soon be spending the Winter is this specially designed bat box. Finally, we are delighted to say that the GACT grant has allowed us to repair and resurface the paths which form part of the Safe Route to Schools through the Reserves. They now look splendid and have been returned to a standard which provides a firm and level surface for wheel chairs and buggies. Thank you again Gatwick Airport Community Trust for making all these wonderful projects possible.