Terrapins, newts and 2000 Fun Day.
Terrapins and newts .....
This weekends work party was joined by Chris Pengelly from The Hampshire Wildlife Trust and Martin Eustace, a local reptile specialist to check on the terrapins and newts, unfortunately by the time they arrived the weather had deteriorated and the few basking terrapins had returned to the water, so any attempts to catch them were put on hold. They then spent a couple of hours looking for newts in the usual places in our pond. Again none were to be found, however this is more disturbing, as by this time last year we had several in evidence. Chris's recollection is that the pond contained Great Crested Newts up to about 5 years ago, but those we found last year appeared to be Common Newts. In further searches over the next month to six weeks we hope to be able to ascertain the newt population and species. It is hoped that the colder weather over March and April has delayed their appearance this year, a population of Great Crested Newts would be a great asset to the park given their protected status.
Discussions during the afternoon about the loss of frogs, toads and their spawn and also several species of vegetation in the pond can be attributed to the presence of the Terrapins. Martin is going to help us in removing them during this year when the weather warms up a little more. It also transpires that Terrapin populations elsewhere in the area have attempted breeding and laid clutches of eggs, but it is not known if viable young have been produced. Very young terrapins have been found recently at a location in the south but again it is not known if they were from discarded pets or from a breeding colony. If the weather continues to get warmer over the coming years then breeding populations of Terrapins will become the norm.
A Koi carp was confirmed in residence in the pond as were several Goldfish which are regularly dumped into the pond, they do not usually last too long as the local Grey Heron, (also seen this weekend) keeps the numbers down.
2000 Fun Day .....
The Fun Day for this year confirmed for Sunday the 2nd of July, 11:00am to 4:00pm. Held again in the park, Boxalls Lane, Aldershot. (location map) - Local environment groups, stalls, face painting, games, cakes, refreshments & more. Free admission. Phone 07979 958020 or e-mail for information.
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