Today (1st July 2021) we had a visit from 25 6th Form Geography students from St. Andrew's School together with their teachers, Faye and Emma. We explained the history of the area and how the 14 acres of Rye Meadows were separated off to form a wildlfe corridor and then put under the auspices of Fields in Trust.
We showed them the pond in Centenary Field plus the scrapes in Fraudings and the berms and new meanders in Fraudings, Jack Adams and Gullett fields. The fields were a sea of wild flowers, and grasshoppers and damsel flies were in abundance. Nigel Bond demonstrated the Riversearch method of assessing the health of the stream, and for the first time a signal crayfish was discovered and later destroyed. These are an invasive species now taking over our waterways and eradicating the European native crayfish. This is the first occasion in which a signal crayfish has been discovered in the Rye Brook.
After the walk we all went back to the barn for sandwiches and a drink. Sandwiches and sausage rolls were prepared by Tracey at The Lunch Box sandwich shop on the Plough Roundabout and she did us proud with an excellent variety of vegetarian and non-veggie food. We can recommend her services, and if we have another similar occasion. we will be using her again.
Later - We have had two return visits by one of the students, Joe, who has chosen the Wetlands for his A Level Project. He has been accompanied by two of the volunteers explaining in more detail the workings of the wetland and the volunteers.