Structurally complex habitat banks and hibernaculum


Or Building the ARC

ARC vanWe don’t often get to do big conservation or at least big in the sense of single large project aimed at a specific outcome; so it was with enormous anticipation and excitement that we welcomed the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust to Pwll Waun Cynon to install a pond and a large structurally complex habitat bank/hibernaculum.

After the initial pangs of jealousy that came with seeing Pete’s newt van, and the relief that we didn’t have to dig the pond by hand, we got to work cutting logs to make the core of the bank along with branches to make the next layer.

All of which would then be covered in the soil conveniently excavated from the newly dug pond, thus creating a frost proof refuge for the resident reptiles and the amphibians, who will soon be living in the new pond, to overwinter.

Creating a structurally complex habitat bank and hibernaculum (Photo by Pete Hill)

Creating a structurally complex habitat bank and hibernaculum (Photo by Pete Hill)

Hopefully this new habitat addition will not only help our Amphibians and Reptiles many of which are in trouble and in serious decline but also help a wide range of other species wholly or partially dependent on ponds.

Having been responsible for the reptile surveys at Taf Fechan for the past few years I have developed quite a soft spot for them so I would like to thank Pete Hill and the Arc Trust for one of the most enjoyable volunteering days I’ve had for a long while, despite the mud.

Graham Watkeys - Taf Fechan Volunteer Warden