Lower Mill Pond
The Lower Mill Pond is a large area of open water - though it is in fact an online pool that is fed by the leats and drains into Oare Meadow and ultimately Oare Creek. It creates a lovely ambient environment and is enjoyed by the resident swan family who are often keeping their eyes on visitors!
The pond has an abundance of invasive common reed (Phragmites australis) with reed mace (Typha latifolia) but in more open areas pond sedge (Carex riparia) and the locally uncommon wood small-read (Calamogrotis epigejos). The reed-beds provide cover and breeding habitat for a range of bird species including reed warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus), sedge warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus), Cetti’s warbler (Cettia cetti) and moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) as well as the uncommon water rail (Rallus aquaticus) during the winter.
The exotic looking water rail is adapted to living in it's reed-bed home,
often giving it's presence away by its call that sounds like a pig squeeling!
Smooth newts and palmate newts have been observed in the pond, though amphibian populations are limited by the presence of fish, including the enigmatic and declining European Eel. Grass snake is also sometimes seen swimming in the lower millpond. This snake is greenish in colour with a distinctive yellow collar. It will move away from areas of disturbance and is only dangerous if you are a frog or a toad! Reptiles are afforded protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
The grass snake is a top predator in the lower mill pond and leet system
A wealth of small invertebrates spend most of their lives in the water. Many will live in the detritus at the bottom of the pond and, as it is managed, the variety and number of species will change.
- Water boatman (Notonecta glauca)
- Pond skater (Gerris spp)
- Screech beetle (Hygrobia hermanni)
- Pea mussel (Pisidium spp)
- Ramshorn snail (Planorbis planorbis)