Snow arrived with deep frost, the first time for a few years.
Flocks of fieldfares were everywhere.
Dragon flies were seen again and a new sighting of a green veined white butterfly
An exciting new addition to the Reserve is a bee hive. Stewart, who collects swarms, has brought one of them into the Reserve where they seem happy and busy making honey, we hope!
This has been a very successful year for the meadow flowers. The birdsfoot trefoil, the meadow pea, ladies bedstraw, yellow rattle and fleabane have all increased and the meadow was a sea of yellow. More oxeye daisies have been planted and the knapweed became a haze of purple and attracted large flocks of goldfinches.
Three more common spotted orchids were found and the number of butterflies increased during the warm summer with a new species seen, A marbled white.
By the end of the year the pond was full.
Thanks to generous funding from Naturesave Trust www.naturesave.co.uk/trust the pond restoration has finally started to restore the Keir’s Meadow Wildlife Pond.
Pond Creation and Subsequent Drying Out
In 2008 Keir’s Meadow commissioned Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership to create a wildlife pond as part of the reserve improvements. Natural ponds such as this are a great benefit for wildlife but sadly many of these features have been lost from the wider countryside. The pond provided a home for colourful dragonflies like the blue and green Emperor and whilst the water levels may fluctuate, seasonal ponds are valuable for newts and other amphibians. The pond was originally planted with marginals that like damp conditions, such as purple loosestrife and yellow flag iris.
However, after initial success, the pond has subsequently dried out repeatedly, and to such an extent that it is reverting to dry land. The diagnosis was that an old land drain runs under the pond, and that a natural layer of clay needs to be added to provide a longer term solution so that the pond can retain at least some water year round and support aquatic species.
Naturesave Trust Funding for Pond Restoration
Thanks to the funding received from the Naturesave Trust a local contractor has been commissioned to line the pond with natural clay during the dry period of the summer of 2017, providing a natural and impermeable base to the pond, to allow a permanent wildlife pond to be sustained.
The wildlife pond in addition to providing a home for local wildlife, allows the opportunity for local children and the Blean Pre-School to visit the pond and learn about pond ecology.
Once again our sincere thanks to the Naturesave Trust for making the pond restoration possible.