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Pond improvements
Howick pond removing Storm Arwen's damage and Alnmouth nature pond coppicing and path works

We managed to get some practical conservation sessions completed in late January and February to do some much needed pond and coppice work at both Howick village and Alnmouth Ponds just before the amphibians and bird life starts moving about looking for partners and breeding sites.

At Howick, Storm Arwen left a trail of devastation with two large 100+ yr old Scots pine up rooted and lying in the small pond adjacent to the village hall, so we set to work chainsawing up the debris and creating dead hedges on the boundary of the site as habitat piles.

We also got stuck into sorting the pond vegetation management keeping the oxygenating plants but pulling up some of the ever-encroaching reedmace from part of the pond to allow some open water habitat. We coppiced the willow pollards on the periphery of the site and left some new habitat wood piles on the edge of the pond as a hibernaculum for the smooth and palmate newts that are found on site.

At Alnmouth we set to work on helping on the Nature Area/Pond adjacent to the village golf course, coppicing the willow around the picnic area opening up the views of the pond, while leaving some valuable perches for the birds over the open water.

As a team we set to work on a herculean effort to lay a meandering woodchip path (another of Storm Arwen's fatalities) through the whole site to lessen the impact of visitor footfall. We also helped tackle the strangling brambles from galloping through the rough grassland verges and smothering the emerging snowdrops. 

These two tasks were a great team effort from the Coast Care volunteers and the volunteer were thanked from both parish councilors and burgage holders. 

"I met some wonderful people and really felt that my work helped make a difference to my local area."

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