Browse through our blog posts to find out what life is like at Hoe Grange Holidays along with some great ideas for days out in the Peak District.
From time to time the Derbyshire Amphibian & Reptile Group (DARG) have visited Hoe Grange to monitor the Great Crested Newt population in the main farmyard dew pond. This involves occasional late night vigils by torchlight during the summer months to count them as the emerge to the edge of the water.
Over the years the bull rushes and reeds have slowly taken over the pond and severely reduced the amount of open water, and it was decided that it needed to be cleared out. As Great Crested newts are a protected species only licenced groups may undertake the cleaning out of ponds where they are known to be present.
Several groups of volunteers have tried to do this by hand over the years, but it was proving to be far too big a job. Luckily due to the hard work of Chris from DARG funding was located to get the correct machinery in to do the job.
Any work needs to be done in the winter months when the newts are all hibernating in the nearby stone walls, so the rush was on to get a window in the weather. Last week Contractor Dan Spencer moved in with his equipment.
First the water was pumped out, then the silt and vegetation were dug out and tipped in a field where it will compost down.
Great care was taken not to disturb the stone lining or the clay beneath as this would prevent the pond from holding water.
Our dew pond revealed itself to be far deeper than any of us imagined, so much so that digger disappeared completely below the rim!
Dan and his able assistant Jim then cleared the remaining silt from between the stones by hand.
Now we just need to wait for some rain to help refill the pond ready for spring. Water captured from nearby building roofs is piped across to the pond, hopefully it won’t take too long
The Derbyshire Amphibian and Reptile Group covers the whole of Derbyshire including part of the Peak District National Park.
The group aims are to promote the study and conservation of the amphibians and reptiles of Derbyshire and their habitats. This is achieved by:
Derbyshire ARG always welcome new members to the group, please email them on firstname.lastname@example.org to join.
Read more about our efforts to help the local wildlife on our Environment page
Thanks to the Derbyshire ARG our dew pond is all cleared out ready for the newts to get back in the water for Spring. All we need now is some rain to fill it up!
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What can I say?
We have just returned from a family weekend staying in Daisybank cabin and the Skylark pod.
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