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Thursday, 20 May 2010

Wed 19th May 2010 - Riverside Park, Newport.

This week we were helping the Rangers Nick and Richard at Riverside Park, a site we have not visited since 2005. As usual they like to keep us busy, so lots of tasks to undertake. There was the usual litter pick and cutting back overhanging branches, followed by that old favourite! limestone chippings, so it was out with the barrows and rakes to improve several path areas. There had also been pallets burnt in one of the areas by the river, so these were cleared away and the area swept clear of debris - mostly nails. Our final tasks was to put in some planks and stakes to improve an area of the path prone to flooding, then lay a membrane and cover this with limestone chippings on the path to raise the level.

Carrie’s Nature Lesson

This week’s find was a Sea Slater (Ligia Oceanica) - sorry the image is not wonderful, but it ran about everywhere. Looking like a large woodlouse, the flattened body has seven pairs of legs, two large antennae, protective plates along the back, and are limited to damp environments because they have gills. They do not, however, live in the water but on the shore above the high tide mark, and can be found running across rocks on groynes and in the strandline. The best time to see them is in the evening when they are most active; during the day they hide under stones and seaweed and in cracks in the rock. They are members of the woodlouse family, and help to keep the shore tidy by eating dead plant and animal material that has been washed up. Sea Slaters are members of a group of crustaceans called Isopods (iso meaning “same” and pod meaning “foot”). They live for up to three years, breeding only in their third year”.

Many thanks to Carrie for the text and pics.

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