Thanks Andy for these photos. Check out the Rookery’s Facebook page.
You may remember we told you about the cleaning of the pond by the Rotunda. Well, after the cleaning and before the plants were installed a leak was discovered. The council is required to get 3 quotes for the work – this has taken a long time. In the meantime the colony of newts which has populated the pond for years has begun to gravitate to the pond to mate. Unfortunately some newts (maybe a dozen?) have died because the water level in the pond is no longer viable for the newts – and there’s no vegetation for them.
Park staff have been working hard to gather up as many newts as possible and take them to the wildlife pond to the north of the park. This area has been fenced off to protect the newts, and a notice explaining the situation is displayed. So far Emma, our Park Ranger, as well as other park staff helped by members of the public have collected over 200 newts and have successfully relocated them. They’re thriving in the wildlife pond. Once the Rotunda pond is ready the newts will be returned to their home. It’s a shame that the work to repair the pond has taken so long – and has extended over the most important part of the year for the newts.
Here’s some photos taken today. They include a pic of Oliver and Freya who have been helping Emma to gently gather the newts:
What’s your role in Preston Park?
My job title is Preston and Patcham Team Leader. I head up the staff in the park and, in the Preston and Patcham area, I’m responsible for verges, green spaces in housing sites and schools as well as Hollingbury, Carden and Blaker’s parks.
How many staff do you currently have on your team? I have 5 people at the moment and they work in different areas as well as Preston Park.
How long have you had your job? I’ve worked in the Parks Department for 33 years come May. I’ve been a team Leader for 17 years.
What do you like about your job? I love Preston Park. I really like the diversity of people you see in the park and seeing that the park is accessible to everyone.
What would you change about the park? More staff! We try to do the best we can with limited staff and resources – I’d like to see a reverse to the inevitable drop in standards. In an ideal world I’d like to see the colourful flower beds back – anything that brings more people into the park really.
What hobbies do you enjoy? I like to cook, especially French and Italian. A French relative taught me to cook a while back and I’ve enjoyed it ever since.
The pond by the Rotunda is currently undergoing refurbishment and cleaning. ‘Pete’s Ponds’ are undertaking the work; they are passionate about preserving the pond’s wildlife and will ensure the natural equilibrium of the pond is maintained. Pete, of Pete’s Ponds, was able to report that he’d come across 2 frogs (one a very pregnant female), some broad-bodied chaser dragonfly larvae, 3 species of snail (ear pond, great pond, great ramshorn), 1 goldfish, some water boatmen and some freshwater shrimps! Blimey.
No newts as they’ve ‘gone terrestrial’ as Pete put it. They’ll be back.
Here’s some pics including expectant mother:
Sad news. Our Friend, Shelley, of The Purple Grape, is having to close her wine shop because of ill health.
We are asked to pass on to all or Friends that all stock is selling at a 30% discount. The shop will be open between 4.30 and 8.00 pm today, (Thursday 21st), Friday and Saturday.
Cheers to you Shelley.