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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wed 24th March 2010 - Community Orchard, Adgestone.

Our second visit this month to the Island 2000 site next to the golf course in Sandown, continuing our work on improving the pathways following the somewhat wet winter. We finished the path started last week, and made a new pathway from the small wooden platform near the pond to connect with the one on the other side. More willow was cut to make edges and also a base, then we cut lots of reeds for the top to even everything out. We also cleared trees and bramble from around the small wooden platform, to allow the planks to dry off better as they had become very slippery.

Carrie’s Nature Lesson

Reed mace is generally found in very eutrophic conditions. It grows best in shallow water, usually up to 0.5m in depth, or occasionally as deep as 1 metre. It occurs on exposed mud by the side of lakes, canals, ponds and ditches and less frequently by streams and rivers. It may often occur in pure stands, excluding most other species. It is a shallow-rooted perennial whose vegetative shoots die in the Autumn, but persist throughout the winter along with the old flowering heads, with re-growth taking place in the spring from rhizomes. Flowers are wind pollinated and a single inflorescence may produce as many as 200,000 seeds! In dry weather the hairs on the pedicels spread and the inflorescence bursts, and the fruits drift away still attached to the hairy pedicels; if they land on dry ground they remain spread so there is the chance they may be blown to a more suitable habitat. If they land on water the hairs remain spread for a short time, but then the hairs fold back which brings the fruits into contact with the water. This allows the fruit wall to spring open releasing the seed, which immediately sinks. Birds have been known to use the fluffy down produced to line their nests.

Carrie wrote the editorial and supplied some of the pictures......the others were from Eddie. A big thank you to both!

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