Ponds around the Bay

The number and diversity of ponds along Druridge Bay are unsually high for lowland England. Towards the south end of the Bay, where subsidence over the ten seams of Ellington coal mine creates ripples the surface of the fields, the density of ponds may be one of the highest in England. Many of these subsidence sites, like the one shown above, seem to have dropped out of the sky right into the middle of agricultural fields. This one is in pasture but the arable fields are also dotted with shallow ponds, sometimes large, sometimes revealed as tyre ruts that refill each year. Some of these ponds show slightly higher levels of sodium chloride (salt) than most local ponds, suggesting some brackish intrusion, perhaps from the abandoned mine works below which stretch miles out under the sea. Here are two classic shallow arable field subsidence ponds from Blakemoor Farm.

In the hollows just inland of the dune line are many richly vegetated dune slacks. Again they vary greatly from reed chocked hollows to wetlands of rushes, sedges and silver weed and, in few cases, supporting stoneworts. Some of these slacks may be anti tank ditches dug at the start of World War 2, such as the one pictured below near Druridge Bay Country Park. Below that is a more a typical slack towards Cresswell at the south of the Bay, which gets inundated with brackish water when the adjacent road floods.

There are also many ponds and larger wetlands habitats created for nature conservation, especially at restored open cast coal mines sites such as Druridge Pools and East Chevington, some specifically desigend for pond dipping, like this one at east Chevington.

No comments:

Post a Comment