On Saturday 13 November a group of intrepid volunteers started work on the Hobblers Hole Pond area, as part of LLRA’s work under a Management Agreement signed earlier this year with City of Lincoln Council.
Long Term Objective
The long term objective of this work is to keep sufficient water in the pond area until late July, to allow amphibians such as frogs and newts to breed successfully. The natural hollow quickly fills with water in the winter. However, over the years it has gradually filled with soil. Vegetation has also grown up in the area, which means that the pond dries up too quickly in the summer. See the pictures below, showing the pond area in January 2021 versus the same area in November 2021. Quite a difference!
First Session on Saturday 13 November
This first volunteering session looked to clear the site of vegetation, and ensure that there were no amphibians in the area. The work was planned for November, when amphibians should be away from the pond area, looking for somewhere to hibernate. Caroline Steel, our local wildlife expert has a licence for conservation work with Great Crested Newts, and was on hand to help, in the unlikely event that we encountered any amphibians still around the pond area. Caroline was also able to give us guidance on the plants being removed. Thanks to the ten willing volunteers, good progress was made and the initial clearance of vegetation was completed on schedule.
Next Sessions Saturday 20 November, Monday 22 November
The next session, on Saturday 20 November, will start the work of digging out the pond to a greater depth. It will be deepened in the centre to increase its water holding capacity, whilst still maintaining a gradually deepening bowl shape. A further session is planned for Monday 22 November. Sessions beyond this will depend on progress made and on rainfall and ground conditions.
If you are interested in participating in future work on Hobblers Hole, then email Jon Davies of the LLRA at email@example.com with your contact details. Work will also include maintaining the path across Hobblers Hole, to give easier access to the upgraded children’s playpark at Whittons Park from St. George’s. LLRA are still awaiting a decision from the Planning Inspectorate on their appeal to gain official footpath status for this path across Newt Hollow & Hobblers Hole.
P.S. For those interested in the history of the area, LLRA 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.”