Field Event Reports

Sunday 9 April: Barton Fields Pond Dipping

This was a family event on a warm, sunny afternoon

On the hottest afternoon of the year so far, Abingdon Naturalists' hosted at Barton Fields Nature Reserve a pond dip aimed at a younger audience and a guided tour for adults.  A pleasing number of families attended with over 20 individuals, including around 11 children of various ages. The pond dip was held at Pond 6 on the site as the level of water was low in other ponds due to lack of recent rain. The children threw themselves enthusiastically into the dipping (and fortunately none into the pond!). A good catch of bugs were discovered over an hour or so and put into holding trays; the bugs were mainly water beetles, water snails and the larvae of broad-bodied chasers - not a particularly large range for the naturalists among us, but the kids did not care as long as they caught something each dip. Also, the pond was rich in sticklebacks, unlike other ponds on the site.  The pond started crystal clear, but within an hour was a muddy soup.

At 3.30pm three ladies arrived for a walk around the site, which Adrian led. So as to bring the dipping to an end, we had set a number of 'pitfall' traps, the contents of which were tipped into a tray; the 'trick' worked and the group clustered around.  Large number of small spiders, some beetles and millipedes were the main catch. Soon after the 'pond dippers' decamped and walked back to Barton Lane, searching under the various reptile mats now in place - unfortunately no Grass Snakes were found.  Back at the cars  the 'gear' was unloaded and happy groups of adults and children departed - all seemed to have totally enjoyed the event. Soon after the 'tour' party arrived back, again enthusing about the site and the information conveyed  by Adrian. In all, a very successful afternoon, rewarding the effort put in. Thanks to Adrian, Ian and Sally for all the help.

Report: Graham Bateman

Leaders for Abingdon Naturalists':
Graham Bateman, Adrian Allsop, Ian Smith, Sally Gillard

Children enjoy pond-dippingChildren enjoy pond-dippingChildren enjoy pond-dippingChildren enjoy pond-dipping

Children enjoy pond-dippingChildren enjoy pond-dippingChildren enjoy pond-dippingChildren enjoy pond-dipping