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Friday, October 29, 2010

Wed 27th Oct 2010 - Kitbridge Farm Trust, Newport.

Eddie's Photographs.

Carrie's Photographs.

This week the GG Team were back at one of our most favourite sites - Kitbridge Farm. In spite of forecasted rain there was an amazing turnout of GGmers, including some "visitors" from the North Island! Our task was to dam off a ditch and divert the field runoff water to sequentially top up three ponds. These had been drying out durning the summer months so it is hoped that they will now stay as ponds all the year around. The work was labour intensive but can only be done manually as a mechanical digger may destroy the wildlife that lives in the ponds and surrounding areas. We had only just started work when Mark found a Great Crested Newt (see photograph somewhere below) - it was soon re-housed in a safe place.

When coffee time came around, Mark produced several yummy cream and chocolate cakes - the grand occasion being the 35th anniversary of the Kitbridge Trust. Many thanks Mark....they were delicious....Please can we have the same for each of our visits to you?

Tea break over and it was back to the ditch digging, dam building, pipe laying etc with a short break for when the IWCP photographer arrived to take a few photos. There were several group shots and ones of people working - so keep you eyes peeled for them in future editions of the paper.

The highlight of the day was when the last spade full of clay was removed and the waters flowed along the new drainage channels and into the top pond - a big cheer from all concerned accompanied this event!

Mark’s Nature Lesson

Newts have been recorded on the Kitbridge site since at least the 1860s and in recent years it has emerged after extensive research that the Island Great Crested Newts have developed unique characteristics and differ from their mainland counterparts in a number of subtle ways. The most pronounced difference is that they have a distinct yellow stripe that goes along the whole length of the spine. They even have their own name which is Tritarus Cristatus Vectis.

The Great Crested Newt has only been recorded at two further sites on the Island in recent years. This is due to loss of habitat, agro chemicals and climate change, which have had a devastating effect on the fragile meta populations of this unique species.

Many thanks to Eddie & Carrie for the photographs and to Mark for the Nature lesson (and cakes!)

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