The ongoing restoration work of Treloggan Doorstep Green took an important step forward this week with the excavation of the pond.
After a period of neglect, the community space at Treloggan Doorstep Green sadly became overgrown and unusable. As a result, two years ago, there was a move within Treloggan Residents Association to clean up the wildlife area where the pond exists. Staff and student volunteers from nearby Cornwall College Newquay were drafted in to manage and restore the area back to a state that can be enjoyed by the entire community.
Students Invasive Non Native Group (SINNG) is a student volunteer Local Action Group based at the College campus on Wildflower Lane. Project Coordinator for SINNG Nicola Morris, explains the group’s involvement in the restoration project: “I was approached by a former member of Treloggan Residents Association to assist with the restoration of a pond and last year I took SINNG volunteers along to help clear the vegetation which had built up over many years. The idea was to create more water flow through the pond and help conserve this vital community resource.
“This year we realised that more drastic action was needed as the vegetation grew back very quickly and there appeared to be less water in the pond than previously. I am delighted to be involved again and the students have all worked incredibly hard this autumn to clear vegetation from in and around the pond to allow greater access and more light to reach the pond.”
Student Tristan Holmes, who is currently studying the BSc Degree in Environmental Resource Management with Cornwall College, is overseeing the coordination of the project on behalf of the Treloggan Residents Association. Tristan has worked tirelessly to find a local contractor who was willing to help excavate the pond with a digger to allow for the water flow to return.
“Tristan said: “We have now started the process of excavating the pond to return the water. This will encourage wildlife back into the area and create an outdoor classroom where the community’s children can be encouraged to get back outside and re-connect with their green spaces and wildlife to develop passions and respect for such things.
“It is hoped that community engagement in activities during and in the future of this project will create a sense of ownership and commitment to looking after our remaining green spaces and at least decrease antisocial behaviour such a fly tipping and dog fouling. Ethan Mark Dingley who runs EMD Arenas, a local groundwork business kindly volunteered his services to dig out the pond. On behalf of everyone at Treloggan Residents Association, I would like to thank EMD Arenas for their support in this important project.”
With the excavation of the pond complete, SINNG volunteers plan to return in January 2017 to clear more vegetation from the stream which feeds the pond and this should ensure that next year the community of Treloggan will once again have a pond to be proud of.
An unusual aspect of this particular pond is that it has no invasive non-native plants living in it and SINNG intend to use it as an example of a flagship pond home to native frogs, newts, toads and bugs which the community can eventually use for pond dipping and outreach work. Tristan Holmes continues: “During the last two years we have already been holding educational activities for the community’s children, where they have carried out their own experiments to learn about urban wildlife, habitats and services they provide such as pollination.
“This summer we had a Big Bug Day where the children did a grubbing up experiment to see how length of grass effects what insects they find, carried out two national wildlife surveys and made their own bug hotels. The day was a massive success and having the pond restored will increase the volume of classes we can hold throughout the year but also gives them something to do outside once in a while, not having a play park in the area. We will also be seeking funds to help develop the area including creating a wildflower meadow, dipping platforms and place for the community to sit ,enjoy, connect and reap the benefits of increased health and welfare that green spaces provide.”