Recent news - 15th August 2006

Land sale update, Wildlife, Storms and other stories.

Our stand at this years Bell's Piece Gardeners Day, click for a larger image
Events programme ....  Our for this year is nearly over but we have had spectacular success with the events so far this year.  Our Wildlife Fun Day on the 2nd July was exceptional, very sunny and very hot but attendance was well up on the previous year.  Millers Ark Animals are very popular with the children who can get involved with the animals.  The Birds of Prey display was also very busy during the day with lots of interest.  Watch out for next years event on the 1st of July.

The Army Show on the 15/16th July was also very hot and again very well attended.  Organisation of this event has improved over the last few years, but still has a ways to go before it rivals the old Army events of many years ago.  We also attended the RSPCA Gala Fun Day & Dog Show at very short notice as they had missed us off the invite list !, only finding out about the event at the last minute, never the less a good day was had.  So far this year all the events we have attended have resulted in increase attendance at the stand and resulting funds, overall a good year.

Wildlife .....  Overall our "visible" wildlife has done very well this year, indeed, on one weekends visit we counted twenty Ducklings, nine Goslings, and five Moorhen chicks.  The Ducks have produced several broods and continue to do well.  The Geese have produced nine young this year from one male ♂ and two females ♀, presumably a wife and a "girlfriend".  The male spending more of his time with what we came to refer to as the "wife".  Each female nested on separate islands, the "wife" producing five Goslings and the "girlfriend" four.  She was about two weeks behind the "wife" and did seem to have a harder time of it and as the Goslings grew they tended to gather in one large group but it was clear that the "wife" was giving the "girlfriend" quite a bit of stick!.  All the Goslings reached maturity, leaving us only a few days ago in between the two very violent rain storms we have had this year.

Mute swan - Cygnus olor, click for a larger image We also had a Mute Swan appear early in the year as a very young sub adult.  It was apparently seen by one of our regular park visitors walking down the top path towards the pond, where it has stayed ever since.  Over the months it has matured into a splendid adult Swan, a real ugly duckling transformation.

Unsuccessful Heron, click for a larger image The Heron is still a regular visitor, although we think his fishing "catch" has diminished somewhat in the last few months due to the very bad Blanket Weed covering the pond currently has.

Storms .....

Weather wise the last couple of hot dry months did take its toll on the pond and water levels were dropping, although not as badly as several years ago.  This is probably due to the Blanket Weed covering, but it does not help with the oxygen levels in the pond as was seen when several of the larger Carp could be seen gasping for air through the weed.

Arrangements were made to have the larger fish removed to storage but on the day it was due to happen we had the first heavy rainstorm (see pictures) lasting about an hour.  The storm which for a short time flooded Southmead Road on the Crown estate above the park (the surface drainage feeds the pond) put about a foot of water depth into the pond, this helped oxygen levels but did not save five of the Carp, which were removed a couple of days later.

Storm surge into the pond, click for a larger image Southmead Road flooding, click for a larger image Flood relief measures are working
Click any photo for a larger image

A couple of weeks later on August 13th (Sunday, not Friday!) we had an even bigger storm lasting four hours, this put a further eighteen inches of water into the pond, which then broke over the banks into the surrounding areas.  These areas had been assigned for storm water flood relief when the park was designed and set up in 1984/5 and worked well.  In the accompanying photo you can see where the water went from the Blanket Weed residue left after the waters receded.

If you see any vandalism, damage or disturbance in the park, please do not get involved, just phone the Police on the usual number - 999 or 112 (mobiles)

If you have any news for Brickfields Country Park please e-mail at The Friends of Brickfields Country Park.

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