Old Hall Farm

Old Hall Farm is our second study area, home to Crescent ghost (named after its shape), and The swimming pool (named after its depth and shape!).  Again, both sites are located in the same field, and are connected by a continuous hedgerow.

Crescent ghost is the oldest ghost pond in this study, having been filled-in some time in the 1850s.  It is unusual to find ponds which were destroyed so long ago, so it will be interesting to see whether the seeds and eggs buried in this pond are still viable and able to contribute to its recolonisation.  The swimming pool initially appeared to be a fairly standard marl pit, which had become heavily overgrown and filled with silt.  When we started removing the years of sediment build-up however, it became apparent that the original pit was much larger and deeper than we first realised.  This site could become a wonderful habitat for deeper growing pond weeds, which the current landowner remembers growing there as a child, but which disappeared as the pond silted up.

Me and Dom standing in the Crescent ghost, before excavation.  This is the oldest ghost pond we have resurrected so far, having been filled in around 1850.  Despite this, evidence of the former pond was still visible; a slight depression containing wetland vegetation (including rushes and sedges), not seen elsewhere in the field.

Me and Dom standing in the Crescent ghost, before excavation. This is the oldest ghost pond we have resurrected so far, having been filled in around 1850. Despite this, evidence of the former pond was still visible; a slight depression containing wetland vegetation (including rushes and sedges), not seen elsewhere in the field.

The swimming pool before restoration - although this pond still supported some aquatic plants, there were just a few common species clinging on in low numbers.  The pond was highly shaded, and full of silt, with little water remaining.

The swimming pool before restoration – although this pond still supported some aquatic plants, there were just a few common species clinging on in low numbers. The pond was highly shaded, and full of silt, with little water remaining.

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