Speak to someone about bittern conservation and the chances are you will be advised to stock a water body with rudd, because they provide them with a good food supply. Unfortunately Workhouse Pond, in Northiam, has also been stocked with rudd, not to provide bittern food, but as an apparent “conservation project”. A few years back the pond in the summer was covered in duckweed, giving it a pea-green appearance. It also supported all three species of newt, with good numbers of smooth and palmate.
Then people started to complain about the state of the pond and it was eventually cleared out a few years ago. Duckweed is one of those annoying plants that is very difficult to eradicate. You just need one tiny piece and before you know it it has proliferated and covered the water surface again, so I did not expect success. The pond was drained and dredged, and miracle of miracles, on refilling it stayed clear. So I decided to investigate by trapping it last year.
The result was Read the rest of this entry »