The fenced area in front of you consists of eight ponds within the wetland area. This is to the west side of the River Cray not far from Foots Cray Lawns and between the Five Arch Bridge and the Penny Farthing Bridge. Be aware that the water in these pools is more than a metre deep in places.
Dogs must be on a leash to accompany people into the gated wetland – separated from the rest of Foots Cray Meadows by traditional post-and-wire fencing. The area is intended to protect wildlife and promote the development of animal, birds and invertebrates, including newts, toads, damselflies, their eggs and larvae.
The Meadows themselves are an important breeding ground for invertebrates such as insects, which are a key food source for many birds, amphibians, and reptiles. The plants also provide food and a habitat for small mammals.
There are 57 species of dragonflies and damselflies regularly found in the UK – 18 species have been recorded in the Meadows – the vegetation encroachment in the ponds is not helping this.
The species that will survive and grow in a wetland meadow will depend on how it is managed. It is important that the area is kept moist during prolonged dry periods though a little drying out now and again will do no harm.
Wetlands are an area of beauty that aid biodiversity. They store carbon and support an abundance of plant life, which in turn provide perfect shelter, nurseries and breeding grounds for many forms of wildlife.
The area is rich meadowland flowers and grasses as well as attracting varieties of moths and butterflies.
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