Our response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation More details

Of Wetland and Water

Monday, July 16th 2018

On a day when a couple of hours rain was most welcome, the topic of the blog just had to do with water and things living in this habitat.  This morning, Anne Carter of the Freshwater Habitats Trust ran a training session on how to identify two of the rarities found at Foxglove, the Pond Mud Snail (Omphiscola glabra) and Pillwort (Pilularia globulifera).  These are both found among the older ponds on the Wetland, although the more obeservant visitors may also have seen them in the Field Centre's Activity Room.

The training included ways of identifying the snails by size, ratio of opening to shell length and whether the opening was on the left or right of the shell when viewed from underneath.  Pillwort may look like grass species but there are a number of clues to help identify it.  As a fern it spreads through rhizomes and also has a distinctive “shepherd's crook” at the tip of the stem as it unfurls.

Having seen the methods of identification on the slide presentation, it was time for a very brief visit to the Wetland to see if we could find any Pillwort.  Going via the Wetland Hide meant that we could let the two visitors in there know that we would be walking across the area.  Going out to the Wetland, we came upon a number of Great Crested Newts (Triturus cristatus) under the metal sheet.

It wasn't the first time I was on the Wetland today as I'd gone to check the flow into the first pond and chanced upon three very small Mallard chicks rushing to hide while their mother was doing her best to appear part of the floating vegetation with her head down so that her eyes were only just above the water.

Having found two very small patches of Pillwort, which lead to discussion about the best way to manage the ponds to help it develop and spread, we returned to the Field Centre to finish off.  Later on, while checking the path around the Lake, a small movement almost underfoot revealed another of the reserve's amphibian species, although this one was not so easy to identify due to still being very small and moving off very quickly, so unfortunately the image is a little blurred.  This looks like a newly metamorphosed Smooth Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) but it moved away too quickly for me to be sure.

(0) Comments:

There are no comments for this blog post yet. Why not start the discussion? - use the form below:

Leave a Comment:

Please complete this field, it's required. Your email address will not be displayed but it's required.

Your email address will not be displayed but it's required.

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Back to Top

Help Support Foxglove

Friends of Foxglove

The Friends of Foxglove Covert is for those individuals, families and organisations who would like to support the reserve through an annual membership subscription. Friends receive a regular newsletter and invitations to attend our various activities and social events.

More Details

Upcoming Events

All About Fungi

Friday 22nd October 2021 | Start time 1:30pm

Join in for a stroll around the reserve to discover which fungi are fruiting and learn more about these fascinating species.

Booking is essential as spaces are limited.

In order to secure a place please call the Reserve Managers to make a minimum donation of £5 per head in advance. This event is free for Friends and Volunteers.

Pumpkin Trail

Saturday 23rd October 2021 | 10.00am - 3.00pm

Come to the reserve half term 23rd - 31st October and enjoy the autumn colours on the red route (Easy Access Trail) and search for the pumpkin clues along the way. Test your knowledge of the creatures associated with Halloween by answering the fun quiz which is available from the visitor centre for only 50p.

No need to book, come and enjoy some fresh air with your family bubble. Don't forget your wellies and a pencil!


Undergrowth Newsletter

Undergrowth Newsletter Winter 2020/21 Issue 54

Find out what has been going on at the reserve during the lockdown!

Read this Issue

View All The Newsletters

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Archive