Breathing Spaces Go Pond Dipping!

Posted on 25 February 2021

We are very excited that South Downs National Park are going to help us start surveying some of the wildlife at the site in Sompting where we pick wildflowers. Within this old barnyard, that Mike Tristram of Sompting Estate seeded with wildflowers some years ago, there is an ephemeral pond that appears in wet seasons and then dries out over the warmer months. We are hoping to gradually reduce some of the overly dominant brambles and hogweed around it and hopefully increase the biodiversity, so before we start we need to know what is already there.

Ranger Sophie made an initial visit in February and with the help of a couple of volunteers we have set a date to do the initial survey in early March. We need to sample the pond water from different areas, for example around the clumps of willow, dock and bramble and see what’s there. We will repeat this, and also log what happens to the water level, throughout the year. We always see lots of butterflies in the summer and when the water goes down and mud is exposed Sophie told us it’s a habitat that insects like solitary bees and dragonflies enjoy. And although there are maybe too many brambles, they do make very good cover for amphibians and other creatures, so we will be sure to leave plenty near the pond. We will also be logging all the different wildflower species on site too.

Do get in touch if you would like to be part of this in the future.

www.breathingspaces.co   [email protected]  Tel: 07827 924151

This project is made possible by Rampion Fund at Sussex Community Foundation and their funding round opens again in the spring. Visit www.sussexgiving.org.uk/rampion or call 01273 409 440.

breathing spaces March 2

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...the stunts we get up to on our community allotments!!

Planting a Victoria Plum, kindly donated and planted by Natalie, and then collecting and delivering a 1000 litre cube to The Triangle. 

Huge thanks to Worthing Coaches Official for donating a couple of cubes so we can harvest a lot more rainwater this year for our community fruit and veg growing.

...the stunts we get up to on our community allotments!!

Planting a Victoria Plum, kindly donated and planted by Natalie, and then collecting and delivering a 1000 litre cube to The Triangle.

Huge thanks to Worthing Coaches Official for donating a couple of cubes so we can harvest a lot more rainwater this year for our community fruit and veg growing.
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3 days ago

Hi Please share this post to anyone who might be interested in our trees. Warmest wishes Carol from The Birch Tree Project fb.watch/iq2n00b_CG/ ... See MoreSee Less

Hugelkultur, pronounced Hoo-gul-culture, means hill culture or hill mound. We call them Huggies down in Carondelet.

Instead of putting branches, leaves and grass clippings in bags by the curbside for the bin men... build a hugel bed. Simply mound logs, branches, leaves, grass clippings, straw, cardboard, petroleum-free newspaper, manure, compost or whatever other biomass you have available, top with soil and plant your veggies.

The advantages of a hugel bed are many, including:

The gradual decay of wood is a consistent source of long-term nutrients for the plants. A large bed might give out a constant supply of nutrients for 20 years (or even longer if you use only hardwoods). The composting wood also generates heat which should extend the growing season.

Soil aeration increases as those branches and logs break down... meaning the bed will be no till, long term.

The logs and branches act like a sponge. Rainwater is stored and then released during drier times. Actually you may never need to water your hugel bed again after the first year (except during long term droughts).

On a sod lawn we recommend cutting out the sod, digging a one foot deep trench and filling the trench with logs and branches. Then cover the logs with the upside down turf. On top of the turf add grass clippings, seaweed, compost, aged manure, straw, green leaves, mulch, etc...
This one here is a Garlic " Huggie " located in the Forest Park area of St. Louis.
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