Fun Day, Geese, Fires, Newts Terrapins & Pond plants.
Fun Day .....
Our best year yet!, featuring Millers Ark Animals Mobile Farm, with Goats, Ducks, Rabbits, Pigs, Hens, Cockerels, Geese. A very popular free display with everybody especially the younger children. Unfortunately the inflatable slide and Kiddy ride operators did not turn up or let us know they could not come, but a late booking of a Bouncy Castle did very well and they provided some music as well! Our usual tombola, cake stall, hot and cold refreshments, quizzes, displays and stalls from local environment groups also did well. The weather was not too good but we didn't get rained on or get very hot as it has done in previous years.
Newts, Terrapins & pond plants .....
One of the local group displays, Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership, did a quick bit of pond dipping during the morning to make up a display of the typical bugs and beasties that can be found in a pond. In amongst the fish fry, beetles and fish lice and to our utter amazement they came up with a newt larvae, (looks like a fish fry but has "feathery" external gills). This is the first evidence we have seen of the newts in the last two years and hopefully points to their recovery. We had taken steps to help the newts by sectioning off the lower part of the pond from the larger fish and removing the terrapins, and this seems to have paid off. We still need to ascertain a cause of the long term vegetation loss in the pond as only a couple of years ago the pond was 1/3 covered with waterlilies and other plants. We would then try and improve the marginal water plants and the habitat, which in turn will further help the aquatic wildlife and the Newt population. Although recently tested and found to be "good", the water quality in the pond is of some concern, it seems to be permanently "green".
We were sponsored again this year by The Hire Center, in St. Josephs Road Aldershot, who kindly help out with a large diesel generator to provide the electricity for the Fun Day. Without the help of local companies we would at times be unable to do some of our work in the park and also stage events like the Fun Day. Our grateful thanks go to them.
The Canada Geese and their seven goslings are sill doing well, in another few weeks (maybe even days) they should be strong enough to leave us for pastures new. In spite of the large groups of youngsters and the bonfires they have been having, the Geese have been able to bring up all seven young without mishap. The Ducks seem to be returning to the pond now the Geese are almost grown and not "ruling the roost" as much as they were. The Moorhens continue to do well with another clutch in the last few weeks, they are our "rabbits" of the wildlife world, breeding and raising young whatever happens on or in the pond.
Late night fires by large groups of youngsters is still proving a problem. Recent talks with the Boxalls Lane developers to remove scrap timber and palettes from their site has helped, as has the repair of the boundary fence with Chrismas Lodge, but the problem still persists. Recently a group of over 70 people having a bonfire, drinking and taking drugs was dealt with by the local Police Dog Handler.
If you see any vandalism, damage or disturbance in the park, please do not get involved, but phone the Police on the usual numbers -
If you have any news for Brickfields Country Park please e-mail at The Friends of Brickfields Country Park.
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