ECONET   Conservation Volunteers, Reading, Berkshire
Conservation of the Natural Environment
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CROW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)
Wednesday, 9th September 2015
Padworth Common ~ Scrub clearance and pond maintenance

The task was to clear vegetation from in and around the largest of the Common's ponds starting with an area of bramble situated on what was to be the location of our fire site.

Two areas of typhus spreading from the pond were to be cleared .....

..... along with willow which was growing in the pond.

Typhus is probably better known as reedmace, .....

..... it spreads by means of rhizomes, thick underground stems, which must also be removed if clearance is to be effective.

The typhus was stacked allowing any creatures it may have contained to return to the pond before being moved to a drier position to decompose and not regrow.

The bonfire consisting mainly of the willow removed from the pond was proving to be a smoky affair .....

..... and it wasn't until after lunch that sufficient heat had built up to get a good blaze going.

Early afternoon and the pond was looking much clearer with all the willow removed although little water was to be seen.

Final part of the task - to clear birch and willow along part of the channel which feeds the pond creating bays.

Highlight of the day? Possibly the discovery of this female Giant Wood Wasp or Horntail, Urocerus gigas. Despite its name and appearance, it was about 30mm in length, it is harmless. Its larva which live for about 3 years, feed on decaying wood particularly that of conifers and also birch.

Created: Saturday, 12th September 2015
Photographs: Alan Stevens, David Hume, John Lerpiniere, Mike Kempton