Jon Cranfield

Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

Pond update July 2011

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2011 at 8:59 am

The garden pond has had a crash in its invertebrate population due to the second drying up event this year while I was away for a week.

The pond has a population of two species of snail, water beetles are once again back plus plenty of what are termed ‘microinvertebrates’.

Water fleas, water mites, ostracods are all buzzing round the pond.

There seems to be no mayfly larvae at the moment.

The habitats in the pond include a sandy and pebble substrate, very shallow water (less than 5mm) and the deepest part of the pond (up to 180mm).

The surrounding bushes will drop their leaves this autumn which also provide more structure to the pond and provide vital materials for the pond inhabitants.

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Amphibian & Reptile Conservation – the New Forest Reptile Centre

In Uncategorized on July 23, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Had a great trip to the New Forest Reptile Centre. Here there are outdoor enclosures which have all six native reptiles, common toad, natterjack toad and European water frogs.
The reptile centre has been in operation for many years and is really worth a visit.

This time I managed to spot one of the two smooth snakes. The last few visits the smooth snake was always the one which was hiding.

Amphibian & Reptile Conservation

In Uncategorized on July 23, 2011 at 7:40 am

The main focus of my voluntary and professional life has to be to help the UK’s amphibians & reptiles. Ever since a local childhood haunt was threatened with development and my involvement with the Amphibian & Reptile groups of the UK.

I was a founder member of the Essex ARG back in 1998. Back then there were 40 groups around the country. Today there are over 60 local groups and contacts.

Back in Hampshire I have been a volunteer for a similar amount of time and member of the Hampshire ARG.

Working with a variety of different partners is key to ensuring herpetofauna conservation in the UK. The new charity Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Trust is the key NGO with over 80 reserves to help conserve our native herpetofauna.

My own nature reserves starts at home and through 11yrs of consultancy work.

The garden pond has had a resident frog Rana temporaria this summer so I am hopeful that the frogs will breed next winter/spring.

There are a number of new plants added to the pond this week after returning from the Old Nevendon road site yesterday. The Nevendon site is developing really well and just like my small pond it has had vegetation added to it though on a much larger scale using diggers, lorries and specialist turf cutting machines.

A series of photographs of my pond and the new reserve will be posted in the next post.

Back again…..

In Uncategorized on July 22, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Plenty of news to report on this month. I have been around the South West down in Cornwall to provide advice on Adder mitigation project, I have also been out and about in London – starting a reptile survey in North London then over to Dagenham to look at a thriving colony of Yellow Bellied Toads.

Today I was back at the Old Nevendon Road site where I have finally signed the management agreement to survey and manage the site for the next 20 years+. It was a fantastic day with plenty of wildlife spotted – great crested newts, stock doves, grey heron, water beetles, damselflies, bees, butterflies and my favourite two European Eels!

I need to get all the photos together for a real update on these subjects. The next post will also be an update on the garden pond – it dried out again and is refilled during the monsoon season plus I have added some new plants details to follow soon.