Autumn is with us, and we are at long last able to start clearing the Hobblers Hole pond, which LLRA looks after, under a management agreement signed with City of Lincoln Council earlier in the year. The area covered by the seasonal pond is overgrown at the moment, with no standing water (before the recent rain at least).
LLRA are looking for 8-10 enthusiastic volunteers to undertake some pond clearance work to support the 2022 amphibian breeding season. At the moment the Hobblers Hole pond dries out too early in the summer. By removing the foliage and deepening the pond slightly, it should retain water for a little longer. Sessions are planned for:
- Saturday 13 November 10am to 12 noon
- Saturday 20 November 10 am to 12 noon
- Monday 22 November 10am to 12 noon
The work will initially include pulling up foliage around the pond area. This will be done by hand and carefully, to ensure any amphibians still in the area, such as toads and frogs, are not harmed. A newt license holder will be on hand to offer guidance. Subsequent sessions will continue to remove root material and finally a 50-60cm additional depth will be dug in the centre of the gently-sloped pond.
If you would like to help this work, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details. Numbers on each session need to be limited, as the work requires care and is in a relatively small area. Volunteers will be emailed with the meeting instructions.
What Is Required?
Meeting at the pond area on Hobblers Hole. Gardening gloves are needed and, if you have one, a kneeler pad may be kinder on the knees. The area is potentially boggy so decent walking shoes, wellies or equivalent would be best and clothes that don’t matter if they get a little muddy. The activity involves pulling up mainly dead Willowherb along with hopefully some of the root mass if the soil is damp enough. The material will be moved to a nearby compost heap. As always, progress will be somewhat dependent on the weather and ground conditions.
At subsequent sessions we will be digging out, by hand using spades, some of the topsoil and piling it nearby.
In the future, there will also be longer-term work to continue widening the path across Hobblers Hole and clearing a further area to encourage wildflowers.
PS We have recently received this comment from someone who lived in the area in the 1950s:
- “I grew up on Burton Road almost next to Curtis’s Garage and so Hobbler’s Hole and Whitton(s) Park were easily accessible via the jitty from Mill Road to Yarborough Road. Hobbler’s Hole was where we did our sledging when the snows came in early January. I can just about remember the roadworks in the early 1950s when the junction of Burton and Yarborough Roads was realigned and the roundabout constructed. A lot of the spoil from the roadworks was dumped into Hobbler’s Hole and formed flat mini-plateau dropping away cliff-like into the field. A spring from the escarpment exited through this rubble and then made its way through the grass to the bottom of Hobbler’s Hole. I believe it was this spring that fed the pond and the depression in Hobbler’s Hole was at times quite boggy as a result. I remember the pond being permanent not seasonal and I wonder if the spring has now dried up. There was another pond in the adjacent field and I remember lying quietly in the grass observing the newts. I spent many happy hours observing nature in Hobbler’s Hole and I’m very pleased that it has had a reprieve.”