Pond Dipping

At our open day on April 1st we were thinking about the aquatic environment.  We are hoping inspire poets to enter our poetry competition, but also budding environmentalists at school to enter our essay competition.  With that in mind, Adrian Chalkley – the Suffolk County Recorder of Freshwater Invertebrates – was pond-dipping at the long pond and the round pond and he found some lovely beasties!

There were dragonfly larvae, innumerable water fleas and a water snail:






may fly larvae:






and some interesting partially parasitic mites:

They lay their eggs on the back of another larva that will eventually fly – and when they do, they mite eggs get transported and can drop off into a new place.





The interesting Victorian backstory of the caddis fly larva had us intrigued:

The caddis fly larva has a sticky glue secreting gland under its “chin”.  It picks up small bits of bark and other plant material which it sticks together, as in the photo, to form a protective tube.  Victorian gentleman scientists added tiny gemstones to a tank with caddis fly larvae in and the larvae would pick up the gemstones and use them to make their little tube, in the absence of any other material.  Victorian ladies would then kill the caddis fly using alcohol and turn the gemstone tube into jewellery.



Are you inspired to learn more?  Would you like to enter an essay competition about these rarely seen invertebrates, quietly living out their perilous lives under the water?  If they survive they may fly for a day of mating before dying!  Well, you can enter our competition:

Essay Competition for Children

Local children are invited to enter an essay competition for 2018. Two classes: Junior (age 11 or under), and Senior (age 12 or upwards). Prizes of £50 for the winning entry in each class.

A 500 word essay concerning ‘Wildlife and Water’, inspired by the Fromus river, or the ponds on the reserve, the aquatic environment and its life-enhancing qualities. Entries to be submitted between 1st October and 1st November 2017. Winning entries (Junior and Senior) will be published in the 2018 book in the adult education series published by the Suffolk Flora Preservation Trust on the general subject of the Trust’s reserves.

For details of location and access policy, please click

NB Visiting children aged 16 or under must each be accompanied by a responsible adult

Become a guardian so you and your child/grandchild can visit and get inspiration whenever you like, or wait until our next open day:

Saturday 16th September  

10.00 – 13.00h                       

Guided tour of river and ponds at 11 am


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