Restoring Bebb's pond on Bircher Common
Thanks to our supporters, we have undertaken the vital restoration of Bebb’s pond to remove invasive weeds, desilt the pond and improve the aquatic environment.
Bebb’s pool, situated on Bircher Common next to Croft Castle, is a wildlife haven for pond dwelling amphibians, including great crested newts, which are a protected species, palmate newts, smooth newts and common frogs. Dragon flies are also regular visitors, including the common hawker, which is rarely found in Herefordshire. The pond provides brilliant conditions for the growth of yellow iris, marsh thistle, bird-foot trefoil and kingcup.
Why did the pool need restoring?
Bebb’s pond was carpeted with New Zealand Pigmyweed (crassula helmsii), which is a non-native invasive species of aquatic plant. This weed spreads particularly quickly and can establish itself from the tiniest fragment. It had caused the pond’s water quality to decline and the biodiversity to reduce. Furthermore, New Zealand Pigmyweed has a detrimental impact on the breeding success of great crested newts by outcompeting plants that these newts use to lay their eggs in. Its spread is particularly challenging to control, and there was concern it would spread to other ponds on the common.
What restoration work was carried out?
During the restoration project, mats of New Zealand Pigmyweed were removed and the pond was desilted. In addition, three London Plane trees planted close to the pond were felled. These trees were also non-native and their leaves were beginning to negatively impact the ecology
We will continue monitoring the pond and removing New Zealand Pigmyweed as it grows back.