Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean


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10 and 17 September 2013

Lea Bailey Pond

Grid Ref SO642195


10 September

Our first outing for the autumn and a really super site to start on! Lea Bailey pond had been totally hidden from view in the depths of deep undergrowth and trees for many years. Contractors had been in to remove all the trees so our job was to clear and burn all the brush away and to uncover the remains of the pond. A good number of our regular volunteers turned up even though they had to find the site via a circuitous route due to the continual closure of the Drybrook road!





The pond is on the left of the image covered in brush so we started off by collecting the fallen trees around the edges.

A local chap came by and told us that this area was formerly known as the 'brick works' and, although there was clay soil underneath, we found no evidence of bricks.





The puddle in the dip is part of the pond and we also dug out the ancient remains of an old vehicle with rotted tyres and some old milk churns.





This shows the pond as it was at the end of the day and we are going back there next week to remove all the rest of the brush.

It was interesting and satisfying that we saw a few dragonflies skimming over the water as it became exposed.


17 September

Continuing the clearance around the pond and we all got absolutely soaking wet in the rain! Thank goodness we had some fires burning to warm us up. More debris was dug up from the pond - an old bicycle, milk bottles and various rusted metal.





This is the prodding going on to find the metal at the top end of the pond and the rusted bits are piled up on the side.





The large tree trunks that are still in the pond are troublesome to remove. At this point in the pond it sinks down to about six feet which, even with waders on, makes it very difficult to manouvre in.





Except for the tree trunks in the middle, we have managed to clear and burn all the felled trees and shrubs.

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