It’s not often that you find a country walk and now a wildlife pond in such an urban park.
But now thanks to national charity Froglife, Norwood Park has a new wildlife haven.
The charity has completed a shallow ‘scrape’ type wildlife pond running alongside part of the County Walk.
The pond is designed to be very shallow (600mm maximum depth) to ensure safety of park users.
Froglife, in partnership with Lambeth Council and the Friends of Norwood Park has received funding from GrantScape’s Inner London Nature Conservation Fund to create the new wildlife pond.
Froglife is a national wildlife charity committed to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles - frogs, toads, newts, snakes and lizards - and saving the habitats they depend on.
This is part of a programme of habitat work across four parks and greenspaces in Lambeth.
New ponds have already been established by the charity in: Palace Road Nature Garden, Myatts Field Park, Ruskin Park and the Roots and Shoots Community Garden.
These wildlife projects benefit frogs
, newts, toad invertebrates, birds, plants and bats as well as improve local people’s access to enjoy nature in the park.
The pond is now finished.
After being dug the pond was fitted with a liner to retain the water before being refilled with the spare soil and then it will be reseeded.
The special clay liner called a bentonite geotextile clay liner hydrates and forms an impermeable barrier when wet but can also survive periods of drying out.
It could take a while for the pond to fill depending on how much rain we get this spring.
Froglife don’t want to use mains water as it is too nutrient rich, so the pond will only get whatever water nature provides – direct input and surface run off.
In some years the pond could dry out entirely which isn’t all bad as it helps to control fish.
It will also be possible to plant in the pond when it has water in it and the charity along with the council plan to hold volunteer seeding days in the future.
Park users interested in seeing what the pond might look like once it has settled in should visit Ruskin park’s new pond for an idea or the Palace Road nature garden pond.
Froglife have warned that in the first year our pond “may not look that splendid” and depending on rainfall might get a bit greenish with algae.
The good news though is that with shallow ponds they attract all manner of invertebrates – and some will arrive in a matter of days.
So look out for the: Broad Bodied Chaser and Common Darter Dragonflies
who are usually first to take up residence – the former especially likes new open ponds.
Many water beetles and water boatmen will be flying around looking for ponds. Protozoan and Zooplankton (microscopic plants and animals and some that are neither or both) can appear ‘on the wind’ like magic too.
Local amphibians should be attracted to it in time including: common newts and frog.
Other visitors include: birds who may bath, foxes may sip, along with various plants.
A temporary Chestnut paling fence has gone up around the pond as a safety measure and to stop unwanted wildlife such as dogs and teenagers . A more permanent fence will be installed in due course.