We are constantly working to increase the variety of habitat and encourage more wildlife on Ketley Paddock Mound.
Our Facebook contributors have taken many pictures of their sightings over the years, and it is always worth checking for new sightings there.
The site has three very different bodies of water, all of which were dredged in 1992, and one of which – the Round Pool by the Red Lees Path, was dredged in 2019. All three pools have been eDNA tested, and there are smooth, but not great crested newts.
The canal is teeming with toadspawn and toadlets every spring, and some fish – there is also a quiet, very marshy area which is difficult to reach for humans, so its in this area you may catch a glimpse of a heron or kingfisher. The accessible area by the canal path has a dipping platform where many water creatures can be seen.
The Round Pool was very choked with reed, which was removed during winter 2018-19 with help from European funding arranged by Telford and Wrekin, and a second dipping platform installed with support from Ketley Parish Council, and a bench part funded by the friends. Here moorhen and mallard can often be seen. Additional waterplants have been planted here, and we hope to keep the remaining reed – phragmites australis – under control, to allow other creatures to become established here.
The Lost Pool – was named as it dried up in many summers – but never since it aquired the name! It was very dark and choked with rotting leaves from the sycamore growing right on its bank. This was remedied by getting contractors to remove the trees, which unfortunately meant having to remove an oak tree as well. We had hoped to use the oak logs as play spaces – stepping stones in the grass near the canal, but these were very quickly also removed, probably as convenient cheap firewood! Since this work was carried out, and also much removal of overgrown holly and self sown ash and sycamore during friends working parties, the whole space has opened up, is much lighter, and wildlife is returning.
All three pools need meneging to prevent them becoming overgrown. Major work in 1992 included dredging each area, and the initial creation of paths. Since then, the round pool has again been cleared of reed and the old dipping platform removed. We hope the new platforms, made of recycled plastic, along with nearby benches, will last much longer. Friends working parties continue to remove overhanging blanches, grasses and reeds at the pond margains and rubbish from the water to improve light levels and allow wildlife to flourish.