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Braving mud to rejuvenate Fishponds 7 Sep 2022 Our Councillors have been clearing reeds to encourage wildlife back to the Fishponds

At the end of the summer, a small working party – with our Councillors Sue Osborne and Chair Ross Macken joined by local resident Gav Robinson – spent a few hours in the sunshine tending to the Abbey Fishponds in Eynsham.

Walkers may have noticed that the reeds in the pond at the Fishponds site have, over recent years, encroached significantly into the open water. Not only does this make the area less attractive, but the reed growth also restricts the use of the dipping platform.

Sue had noticed the growth and spoke to the Nature Recovery Network, as well as Freshwater Habitats Trust, for advice on what could be done. It was deemed appropriate to remove some of the reeds, taking care not to reduce the overall reed habitat by more than one third, to allow for rejuvenation.

After assembling a working party, Sue found herself in wellies, armed with hand tools, to spend a few hours tackling the sedges and clearing away some of the reeds with Ross and Gav.

Sue reports that “as the bed of the pond is so dry, there were no fish, newts or frogs to be seen. However, we did find snails, beetles, spiders and red damselflies – and spotted a fantastic green dragonfly (a Southern Hawker?). We are sure that there is much wildlife lying latent in the pond, just waiting for it to fill up again.”

The Council applauds the work of our intrepid councillors and hopes that this recent reed removal activity will allow the pond to re-fill and attract back the wildlife that make the area so appealing to many local people.

We encourage residents to continue to enjoy the Abbey Fishponds, although Sue has a word of warning to those who visit the area:

“The pond may appear to be completely dried-up, but it isn’t. There are large areas of black, sticky mud in several places and it would be very easy to lose a welly (we know from experience!) or, worse, to get stuck or twist an ankle. We urge people not to go out onto the surface, however solid it might seem. It’s best just to enjoy it from dry land!”



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