Pond Dipping at Wicken Fen & National Trust conservation
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Pond Dipping at Wicken Fen & National Trust conservation

September 11, 2019

at this time of year there’s quite a
variety of different wildlife that we might see in the pond and this includes
things such as the water boatman and pond skaters and also things like ram’s
horn snails Dragonfly nymph caddisfly larvae so a real range of different
little aquatic invertebrates you don’t have to be a specialist to find these
sorts of things anyone can get stuck in in it’s literally just a case of having
a dip and seeing what you can find and it’s surprising the amount of things
that are actually in the water and when your pond dipping just be very gentle
don’t stir up the silt too much and be respectful to the insects these are
living creatures so when you’re handling that with them handle them with care and
also don’t keep them out of the water for too long have a good look and then
return them back to the pond that they came from once you put the net in you
have a little stir around rather just going straight in and straight out that
enables you to cover a large area and hopefully get more things in your net so we’ve got a few great things here over in the corner we’ve got a water boatman
here and you can see he’s swimming fairly fast and upside down to the
surface that’s how he swims there over there we’ve got what looks like a
dragonfly nymph possibly a hawker dragonfly that’s
keeping a lot more still next to that there’s the the shell of a ram’s horn
snail just the shell and swimming around quite fast there’s some small water
beetles but about half a centimeter long and they’re very fast swimming we’ve noticed the last couple of years
we’ve had very dry summers so the water levels here have been much lower than we
typically want them to be so much space that has been occupied by wildlife has
been lost in the fens with less than 1% of what used to be here well we’re
thinking very long term here at wicken fen we’ve got a hundred year vision to
really increase the size of the reserve acquiring more farmland adjacent to the
site which is valuable for insects and also for our rare plants and flowers
that can grow there too

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