Wetlands have a chequered history in Ireland and are often looked on as poor, or what would be classed as “non productive” or “marginal” land. That is of course from a human perspective, where the land is often viewed from a food production or a potential building developmental perspective.
From a potential Biodiversity perspective, wetlands are an incredibly species rich habitat.
Unfortunately over the last number of decades they have been under assault in various forms, from drainage for conversion to agricultural land or land to be built on. From pollution through pesticide and fertilizer run off from adjacent farmland, and even climate change.
To preserve and manage existing precious wetland habitats and create where appropriate, new wetland habitats designed to be optimal habitats for biodiversity..
To monitor and log wildlife in these existing wetland habitats and wildlife that colonizes the new wetland habitats created.
CREATING NEW WETLAND HABITATS AT WILDACRES.
POND No. 2 – FIELD 2.
In October this year we started on the second pond system on the nature reserve..
This will comprise of one large pond more than a half an acre in size, with a series of smaller marginal seasonal ponds surrounding it.
All providing different types of habitat to maximize the impact for biodiversity.
This pond will have a natural clay lining and will be fed by a variety of water sources ranging from groundwater draining from our field above to rainwater harvested off the roof of our shed, and as a backup water from our well.
Constructed with an island in the middle as a safe refuge and nesting site for water birds, and with a deep section surrounding it which will remain vegetation free, Mostly the pond edge will have a very shallow gradient of approximately 1 : 20 which will be the area most suitable for aquatic and semi aquatic plants and animals. The rear of the pond will have a steeper gradient.
We are constructing this new pond complex in a naturally wet area that intermittently collected water but had only grass and sedges growing there previously and supported very little biodiversity. These new ponds will provide an ideal habitat for a huge number of native wildlife species. We look forward to seeing the wildlife that will colonize it over time, as happened with the previous pond we constructed in field 3 and will document its progress here.