FLOW Trail Guide: Earnley

Earnley has suffered from recurring flooding in the past, and there are two ponds in this parish that FLOW has worked on to help combat this.

Parking: In the small car park at Batchmere Nurseries, opposite Haydon’s Pond, PO20 7LG.

Approx. 2 miles. [1] Starting at Haydon’s Pond, walk south and take the first footpath on your right heading down Second Avenue.

 

Continue to the end of the lane and turn right, following the footpath along the edge of two fields before it bends left behind a garden and then right onto [2] Somerley Lane.

 

Continue straight along the lane for 300m to view [3] Hedgehog Hall pond on your left.

 

Retrace your steps back up Somerley Lane and at the first fork, take the footpath right until a left [4] footpath signpost.

 

Follow this footpath straight across a field, then between greenhouses and eventually out onto [5] Batchmere Road.

 

Turn left and walk back up to Haydon’s Pond.

Haydon's Pond

This two-part pond comprises a section running alongside the road surrounded by willow, and a circular area dominated by mature oaks. One of these oak trees supports a colony of the rare jet-black ant and the even rarer giant oak aphid.

 

The pond was overgrown and neglected for many years. The FLOW team transformed the pond by lowering the height of the willow trees to allow more sunlight onto the water, giving wetland plants such as great willowherb, water mint, and water cress, a better chance to establish.

 

The bed of the pond was dug out so that it can carry water away from the road and out to sea, whilst retaining a reliable supply of water for wildlife year-round.

Hedgehog Hall Pond

This relic farm pond is no longer used for cleaning carriage cartwheels, but still serves the important function of carrying water from one ditch system to another which greatly reduces flooding.

 

When the FLOW team discovered the pond, oak trees were shading it from the south, and willow trees on the roadside. Hardy volunteers cropped the height of some trees and cleared clusters of brambles, making space for wildflowers.

 

Plenty of thick scrubby patches have been left for wildlife though, with the addition of log piles and a dead hedge. The willow trees sprout every spring and queen bumblebees sip nectar from their yellow catkins. Listen out for a low humming buzz!

Download the FLOW Trail Guide

This page is an extract from the Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands (FLOW) Trail Guide, which takes walkers on a tour of the ponds and wetland sites restored by the FLOW Project to benefit wildlife and mitigate flooding.

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