Millennium Green Pond and Bluebell woods21st of August, 2020
The next stages of the improvements to the Millennium Green will take place starting in December.
Lancashire Wildlife Trust (LWT) are building a pond for the Parish Council in the Green on the site of the “part time” pond that overflows and floods a large area in winter and then dries out in spring and summer. The new pond will be permanent and will be much larger than the existing one. It will have a large wood platform for viewing the pond and pond dipping etc. It will be connected to the main path around the Green and will be accessible by wheelchairs, prams etc.
LWT’s first job, which has already started will be the removal of the willow trees that surround much of the existing pond. Early next year they will put in the new pond. This will have a heavy-duty liner to prevent the water level from dropping so far in summer. The pond and its surroundings will be planted with locally native trees and waterside plants. The liner will not prevent the pond from flooding into the surrounding areas in winter but spoil from the excavated ponds will be used to crate a series of mounds and hollows that can be planted with native plants that appreciate a boggy environment.
One of LWT’s tasks is to produce a risk management plan and future management plan for the new ponds. Amongst other matters the management plan will address the issue of stocking the pond. There is very little wildlife in the pond at present. There are no newts or fish and although a small number of tadpoles hatch out each year they perish when the pond dries out. LWT will definitely not be recommending that we introduce fish which can bring diseases and which apparently greatly reduce the quantity and variety of other wild life in the pond. Many experts advocate just leaving the pond to get on with it and wildlife will gradually find its own way in. So please do not help things along by tipping any surplus goldfish or terrapins into the pond.
The work is going on over the winter, when the green is likely to be rather wet and muddy. We were keen to get on with it so that it will be ready for the coming spring and summer. As a result we confidently predict that there will be some considerable amount of mud around at times. Please bear with us and our contractor.
The Council would have liked to have built the pond last autumn but we couldn’t get everything (such as planning permission, a design and a contract) together in time. Rather than wait until next autumn we decided to go for late winter. Hopefully then we will still be in time for some of the pond plants and pond wildlife to get established this year. We look forward to seeing the pond wildlife gradually develop over time even if, to start with, it’s all rather small stuff.
Our contractors, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, were quite content to do the work at this time. They need to maintain a programme of work throughout the year and are used to dealing with the mud in winter.
The Council has ordered 6000 (yes six thousand) bluebell bulbs. We intend to plant them in the various copses and wooded borders around the Green. They should make an impact even in their first year but will gradually divide and spread to create a wonderful blue carpet in spring.
There is a catch. Bluebell bulbs are best planted “in the green”, that is when they have started to sprout – so we can’t keep them hanging around and they will need planting quickly. They will arrive sometime in January and we won’t get much notice. When they do come it will be “all hands to the deck” to get them into the ground.
We would be pleased to have any volunteers to help with the job. We will post notices on the Green and on this website and ask volunteers to turn up on the day(s). If you are willing to help please turn up with suitable tools (spade or trowel or bulb planter) and clothing and something to kneel on. Incidentally, the Council does give time credits for volunteers doing this work - if you want to know more about Time Credits see the Councils website under documents or try this link.