Blanket and duck weed – the fight goes on

Last year’s big effort to clear blanket weed by physically removing it has paid off, so far. It has been surfacing again in clumps this spring but not nearly as much, so an hour’s work in waders was enough to clear it. Every bit that comes out removes nutrient from the pond, because – looking on the bright side – you could regard blanketweed growth and removal as a way of sucking up excess nitrates and phosphates and putting the pond in better balance. There is still plenty of it close to the bottom but I suspect that the combined effect of the clouds of daphnaea and the three grass carp – all algae eaters – may be keeping it under control.

Since this is the breeding season for many creatures we pulled the weed out in small clumps and then laid it by the water’s edge so they could escape. We seem to have large numbers of common newts, more than we have seen before, and we made sure they didn’t get trapped. They obviously like it here.

Only very small quantities of duckweed so far.


Hedgehog and other visitors

 Sad that a hedgehog is now a sight rare enough to cause excitement – here’s the first we’ve seen in the garden.

Good to see the Kingfishers returning,  and the spotted flycatchers are nesting in an alcove by the back door. Three chicks this year.