Sturts Trail – Pond by oak

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Pond by oak – where an iceberg melted
As you walk through this field you will see several small hollows on either side of the path, including a larger one beside this oak tree.  Most of these are not ponds, but form wet patches in winter or times of flood. Each of these depressions represents the place where an iceberg was trapped on the base of the former large lake here.

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Silty muddy base
The depression here has a silty muddy base which is rich in soil nutrients. This provides the right conditions for annual plants usually associated today with heavily fertilised arable land.

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Mid-summer plants
In mid-summer there is an abundance of Many-seeded Goosefoot, Spear-leaved Orache and Fat Hen. You will also see patches of Persicaria also known as Redshank and Lady’s Thumb. It has a characteristic dark spot on its leaves. All such plants have adapted to grow in arable crops and arable field margins.

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Head for the veteran oak
Head across the field towards the large oak, with a gated opening in the hedgerow.