Thursday 25th February 2010
Over fifty people from the village gathered to hear speakers and ask questions about the future of the village pond in the main hall of Ducklington Primary School. Rod d’Ayala, a pond expert, gave a short talk with slides about the ecology of ponds and applied some of his ideas to our village pond. This was followed by questions and suggestions from the floor and another short contribution by Martin Layer, who had experience of a similar pond in his village of Sibford Gower.
Mr d’Ayala talked about two extremes of ponds – one a wildlife pond and the other a duck pond. He suggested that you could not really have both, because ducks tend to destroy most other wildlife. Mr d’Ayala stated that one of the factors that produces mud in the pond is run off from the road and the other is duck droppings, the nutrients from which produce algae which eventually die, deoxygenating the water, and then fill the pond.
It was suggested that a filter system of stones, reeds and wild irises could be built below the road run-off pipes and a mock-up photograph of such a system was shown.
The general feeling of the meeting was that the ducks should remain but many people voiced the opinion that there should be fewer ducks than the current number of around 65, in order to maintain a healthier pond. It was generally agreed that the filter system might be a good option.
Mr Layer, who works for Smiths at Gill Mill, kindly offered to provide a borehole close to the pond which should monitor water table levels throughout the year. This might give some information regarding pond water levels.
At the Parish Council meeting on 3 March 2010 it was decided to follow the general wishes of the village regarding the ducks and to install the filter beds at some later stage.