Sadly the exhibition at Hereford Museum has been cancelled this year, but we have produced our display materials and are coming up with an alternative plan to get them on display later in the project. We will keep you informed as this is finalised.
While we are unable to get out and survey, some wonderful volunteers have been looking at the 1st edition OS maps to try and discover any ponds that are not shown on later editions. The aim of this is to produce a large list (over 70 found so far) of possible ponds that we can visit later in the project. While many of these will not be kettle holes, and some will have been lost through changes in land use, we hope that this may help us identify ponds that are only present for some of the year and haven’t made it onto modern maps.
If you would like to get involved in this part of the project then please do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org. We are finalising an alternative timetable of surveying due to our now delayed start and once we are able to go out again we will be in touch with everyone with new dates, sites and training information.
Although we don’t have news about new surveys, we wanted to share some of the highlights of the work we have done so far.
To start, some of our discoveries – We found peat or the remains of peat at 5 separate ponds, only one of which had been previously mapped as containing peat. Three of these sites were visited by staff from the University of Birmingham and two were cored. The peat from the site in Staunton-on-Arrow is still being examined and we look forward to finding out more once the work is finished. Unfortunately, peat found at the site at Canon Bridge was too degraded for the pollen to be preserved. This indicates that this probably is a kettle hole pond, but that a long time ago the water levels dropped, and the peat dried out and started to degrade. While we can’t learn about the pollen history from this site it is wonderful to be able to confirm that this particular pond, and the other 4 in the same field, are kettle hole ponds dating back to the end of the last Ice Age.
Finally, we want to say a huge “thank you” to our student placement, Alex Jones. He helped produce part of the exhibition and has been working hard to help develop the digital presence of the Earth Heritage Trust, to enable us to reach a new audience. Hopefully, we will be able to follow up on all his hard work. We wish him every success for the future.
Beth Andrews April 2020