Sunday, 24 February 2013

"it's a lake"....

Pete is looking out over Druridge Pools, a glittering wash land of late winter submerging the verdant meadow. The Pools lie about half way along the Bay, on the north side of the site a deep lake that was once opencast, to the south the old mine infilled and landscaped and now a mirror to the sky. There are supposed to be five distinct ponds here, often hard to pick out low amongst the burst of rushes and wetland grasses. There are also lost ditches and sudden soak-aways: I know from gingerly feeling my way across the field a couple of years back, recording the plants whilst swallows scalpled the air, winnowing the mass of midges, and damselflies flickered around my feet. I tried to keep count but I was more concerned to keep balanced. Dave Cherry, a final year undergrad at Northumbria, has taken some sediment cores across the ponds in the summer of 2012. As with the other permanent, vegetated sites the organic carbon levels in the upper sediments proved markedly higher than in the soil adjacent to the ponds. Pete and I were checking the site to include in our first season of major sampling effort, but as Pete says “it’s a lake”. Which begs the questions when is a lake a pond? One of those questions I always get asked whenever I do a talk. I suspect everyone knows ponds when they see them, which can be confusing when they look like a lake

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