Since our Winter 2013 publication, and as we still have no grant work open, we have continued to record core activities of the DCPWA volunteers.
Our PINE project had developed a syllabus for after-school pond-related workshops. The Autumn 2013 edition of the DCPWA Newsletter explained that eight infant and primary schools had participated in the first workshop on odonata and aquatic plants on 12th which involved training teachers to run their own workshops.
The second, and final, workshop on amphibians took place at Mickleover-Silverhill Primary School on 6th March 2014. This time, we had ten schools attend. The two-hour workshop included an outdoor classroom and a practical session around the restored school pond. Teachers were fortunate enough to witness frogs and frogspawn, and a fantastic male specimen of a smooth newt put in an appearance.
DVDs of the teaching material provided during both workshops were given to each school at the end of the workshop, which attendees thought were good value. It is now up to the teachers to put the knowledge gained into practice in their own schools. DCPWA look forward to some feedback on the results.
Whilst it is not planned to undertake further PINE Workshops at this point in time, DVDs can be made available for a small fee to other schools interested in using their ponds as an outside teaching resource. Please contact DCPWA at d c p w a @ aol.com for more information.
The best time for pond dipping is between the months of May and August, when the aquatic invertebrates are at their most active and the amphibians, such as frogs, toads and newts, have completed their breeding cycle. It is also the best time to view the aquatic plants when they are out in flower, thereby making them easier to identify.
PLEASE DO NOT UNDERTAKE POND DIPPING ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE THIS PERIOD.
A status report by our local Pond Warden; Claire Spencer. There was in fact, plenty to see, despite the fact that there was little plant growth. The surprising fact was that both ponds were in very good shape and seemed to have recovered after last years “landscaping” and installation of fishing platforms.
The North Pond looked very tidy, and had recovered well from the work done on it last year to install fishing points. The island on the North Pond had these “scarecrows” on them, apparently to scare away cormorants. They seemed to be less effective with the Canada Geese though.
South Pond – General View
South Pond – ReedBed
North Pond – New Fishing Points
North Pond – Scarecrow
DCPWA hold formal Pond Management Plans, originated by the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, for over 40 ponds located on 25 different sites. These plans provide guidance on how the ponds should be maintained to improve their overall biodiversity.
DCPWA provide free management advice on other ponds by request, and have access to experts from DWT and DARG to help them. During this period, DCPWA have been asked for help at:
DCPWA presently have a vacancy for a Pond Warden for the two ponds at Alvaston Park. The role of a Pond Warden is a voluntary one and aspects of the job can be found on the DCPWA web site (www.dcpwa.org.uk). You will be expected to work closely with the Friends of Alvaston Park . Please contact DCPWA at d c p w a @ aol.com, or telephone 01332-830657, for more information.
DCPWA members discussed and agreed the Events Programme for 2014 at the members evening held at the University of Derby on 12th December 2013. The remaining programme is as follows:
These meetings are held at the Kedleston Road campus of the University of Derby.
Contact Derek Golson (Chairman) or Maggie Cooper (Secretary) on 01332-830657, or by email at d c p w a @ aol.com, if you want further details on adopting a pond. Our programme for 2014 is now in progress and covers our quarterly meeting for Pond Wardens, when we will be pleased to welcome any new people interested in joining DCPWA.
A permanent venue for future meetings has been agreed by courtesy of the University of Derby (our kind thanks go to Peter Walker). Meetings will continue to commence at 19:00 hours and further details can be found on the DCPWA web site, which is located at www.dcpwa.org.uk.