Work party

Work party

As Autumn approaches there are many practical tasks that need to be carried out before the weather gets too wet and the frosts too hard. One example of this is the Park centre pond which gets cleared out every year.

The annual growth of aquatic weed is considerable and without remedial action the pond would eventually disappear altogether. Two plant species were being targeted, each with a very different strategy for dominating the pond.

Firstly, the Reed Mace, often mistakenly called the Bull Rush, whose tall cigar shaped seed heads are very familiar, producing many thousands of tiny seeds each 0.2 milimetres across. 

Secondly, and easily visible in the image above is the Water Soldier. A floating aquatic plant with brittle serrated leaves which need careful handling. Each and every plant in the pond is a female which produces about 5 new clones or offsets during the growing season season.  

The vegetation once removed will be left in habitat piles around the pond. These will be used as hibernation homes by the local amphibians .

Work party

Work party


On Thursday a group of 66 students from Portsmouth College spent the day at QECP helping out in the pond  and later mountain biking around the forest trails. They were studying on a course in Public Services which will prepare them for work in the Police or Fire Services, or for local authorities.

They were assisted by three staff members from Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda  who are on an exchange visit to the Country Park, and their first visit to the UK.

Both parks are twinned for mutual support and cultural exchange. For more information about this project go to

For more details of the many practical work sessions taking place at QECP over the Autumn/Winter  have a look at the current events guide/newsletter called the Park Pages on