New ponds at Parc Slip

If you’ve visited our Parc Slip reserve near Bridgend recently you may have noticed that there has been a lot more heavy machinery around than usual!

Not only is our Visitor Centre being redeveloped but we have been working with Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) to improve the reserve for our amphibians as well as numerous species of invertebrates such as dragonflies and damselflies.

A new pond has been created near the canal which looks rather raw at the moment but will soon become well-vegetated and an excellent addition to the reserve. It is fairly shallow so will warm quickly, which is of great benefit to numerous species including the scarce blue-tailed damselfly which has bred on the reserve in the past. Raised banks have also been created around the pond, which will hopefully used by basking reptiles who enjoy south-facing banks in order to raise their body temperatures to allow them to become active.

Renovated pond and Visitor Centre at Parc Slip by V Matthews

Renovated pond and Visitor Centre at Parc Slip by V Matthews

Another major piece of work was carried out in early March – a large pond adjacent to the Visitor Centre had gradually silted up over the years and would eventually have scrubbed over if left unmanaged. A long-arm digger was brought in to clear large amounts of silt and reinstate open water which will be colonised by aquatic plants and then used as a breeding ground for amphibians such as the European protected great crested newt which is a feature of Parc Slip.

The pond has now more than doubled in area and is up to a metre deep in some areas. The photo shows not only the newly excavated pond but also the redesigned face of the Visitor Centre which is now nearly completed. The renovated pond will offer an idyllic view from the centre – and you will hopefully soon be able to enjoy coffee and a cake while appreciating the dragonflies, damselflies and birds taking advantage of the open water and aquatic vegetation.

Bird feeders and habitat piles will also be installed on the far bank to provide additional interest for users of the centre and wider reserve.