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Investigating the mini-beasts that live in our pond

Investigating the mini-beasts that live in our pond

This Easter break we got our waders on and ventured into the newest pond on Barnes Common to see what has made their home there. The pond behind the Black Poplar nursery proved to be full of life and is showing encouraging signs of colonisation by several plant species and many species of freshwater invertebrates.

It was great to see so many families turn out to experience this unique style of pond dipping – without a dipping platform or boardwalk the best way to collect samples was to pull on a pair of waders and step into the pond. Guided carefully by staff, 15 young people took turns wading in and collecting samples using nets. The samples were then tipped into trays for analysis using identification keys.

As well as being an exciting and adventurous activity sure to be remembered by all, they helped us to collect data on the species living in the pond. Overall we found 16 species of invertebrate including damselfly, mayfly and dragonfly nymph, as well as cased caddis fly, greater and lesser water-boatman, and many more!

We hope this activity inspires more young people (and adults too!) to understand and consider the many lives that exist just below the surface of the water. It is a great sign that our pond is beginning to provide a much needed habitat to so many species. We look forward to introducing many more people to the wildlife here as this new pond evolves over the years – but the young people that joined us this Easter will always be its first explorers!