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CROW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)
Wednesday, 13th June 2007
The Cowsey, Whitley ~ Pond restoration

CROW visited The Cowsey tasked with locating and restoring its much neglected pond. Those present were Ruth, Kayleigh, Alan, Dave, John, Keith and Mike, and of these only Keith knew of the existence and whereabouts of the pond.

(The Cowsey is situated on rising ground to the south of Reading in Whitley, and consists of rough grass and scrub with some areas of mature trees. It was originally farmland.)

Having been convinced by Keith that an area of softish earth was indeed the pond (a patch of what appeared to be yellow flag, Iris Pseudacorus, seemed to support this assertion), we began to investigate what delights might be hidden beneath the lush grass and other vegetation covering the area.

The first task was to clear some of the vegetation and remove the rubbish which lay beneath it. (A muddy splash on the lens would seem to be the logical but somewhat boring explanation for the phantom figure which can be seen rising from the pond.)

By coffee break Kayleigh had succumbed to her hay fever, not helped by the metre high grass in full flower surrounding the area, and decided to take early retirement (from this task at least). For the rest of us it was time to start removing some of the silt which had built up over the years.

We decided to concentrate our efforts on the areas in front of and behind the yellow flag and, for the time being at least, to leave the flag in place. As work progressed water began to appear.

During the day a number of groups from a local primary school visited The Cowsey and we were able to explain to the children and their teachers what we were doing.

By the afternoon a considerable expanse of water (the less generous might say a large muddy puddle) was to be seen and a frog together with what was thought to be a water beetle had been discovered.

The task's at an end but there's just time for the group photo.

Take 2!

From left to right: Alan, Mike, Dave, Ruth and Keith. Many thanks to Keith for the photographs.