Many of the ditches to the south east of Rye are dry at the moment, a symptom of the run of dry weather we have had in recent months. Although water could be fed into them from the Royal Military Canal it would need to be pumped uphill, and the sandy/shingly ground means that it would be lost to the ground quite quickly. So is it better to pump water, generate carbon dioxide, and save wetland wildlife, or let nature take it’s course?
The answer rather depends on the ecology of the species concerned. Some are suffering. This is soft hornwort Ceratophyllum submersum, a fairly local water weed of slightly brackish coastal grazing marshes with a whorl of leaves around a central stem that divide up to three times, to provide a plant with the appearance of a bottle brush with an often reddish-green appearance. It’s commoner relative, rigid hornwort C. demersum, is a darker green colour, has leaves that divide only twice, and is more typically found in freshwater.
Both species require sections of ditch that retain water all year. If they get this they will dominate the open water next year.
Conversely the Read the rest of this entry »