Wildlife Explorers held a special training event for Phoenix, Leaders and budding Junior Leaders at Tegg’s Nose Farm. Despite a forecast for good weather we were treated to heavy rain showers but this didn’t seem to bother anyone for such an engaging session.
Land Manager Phil explained a bit about the water management at the Farm and the way the ponds and swales feeds into each other. The group then conducted an OPAL water survey looking at how clear the water was, the pH and which creatures we living in the main pond.
We found a range of different invertebrates – all of which could be scored by their preference for living in healthy, clean and oxygenated ponds.
From tiny water fleas like daphnia through to cased caddis fly larvae, there were lots of interesting invertebrates to identify . Some of the creatures spend their entire life cycle in the water – others are aquatic just for their larval stage.
We also found water mites, cranefly larvae, bloodworms, leeches, flatworms, damselfly larvae, diving beetle larvae, mayfly larvae, pond snails and lots of freshwater shrimps.
Using the criteria from the OPAL survey the pond was described as ‘very healthy’ – not entirely surprising given the nature-friendly, organic management of the site.
With a quick break for refreshments kindly provided by the Farm and superb cupcakes baked by Natasha we then sampled the feeder ponds and swales to get an impression of the biodiversity there.
Special thanks to everyone at Tegg’s Nose Farm for hosting this session – a fabulous location and we all learned so much!