Sturts Trail – Classic Ice Age Pond

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Classic Ice Age Pond

This is the largest kettle-hole pond on the walk. It has all the key features of a kettle hole:
1) It is found in an area of glacial deposits
2) It has a clear outline, not just a hollow following the natural slope of the surrouding hills
3) It is not connected to ditches, rivers or streams
4) There are lots of other kettle-holes around it.

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Life in the pond
This pond is very rich in wildlife and is home to many types of plant and insect. The pond supports the specially protected Great Crested Newt. They lay their eggs on the Flote-grass that grows in the centre of the pond.

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Great Crested Newt egg
If you’re visiting in between March and May you may see that the grass blades are folded to protect the Great Crested Newt egg. When the pond is full of water the centre of the pond is clear of aquatic vegetation and this is where the newts carry out their courtship. Occasionally they can be seen in daylight swimming in the open water or coming to the surface of the pond to gulp air.

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Aerial view of pond
This is an oval-shaped pond located in the middle of the field. It has a saucer-shaped profile with gentle sloping sides There is a clear zonation of wetland plants surrounding the pond with a prominent ring of Soft Rush around the upper margin and inner zone of Flote-grass.  In summer this pond typically dries down to bare mud. The ditch that runs to the east of the pond shows that there have been attempts to drain this pond.

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Retrace path through gap
From the pond retrace your route back through the gap into the previous field, then start to veer towards your right and the hedge line ahead. Heading towards a pair of farm gates and fencing – see next section.