More flower-slashing at Perch Pond

Having not been into Wanstead Park for some while - due to other commitments - my pleasure at re-visiting the place was short-lived ( as is so often the case these days) when I saw that yet again the wild flower display at the east end of Perch Pond had been cut.

wp perch pond 120913 40161artRazed to the ground - the ex-wildflowers at Perch Pond!I mentioned back in early June (see here) that the water-side and emergent flowers along the whole length of this bank provides probably one of the best displays of colour in the whole Park, and undoubtedly one of the better sites for insects such as dragonflies and damselflies that breed and live here. Indeed, making use of the few remaining perching places left after the slashing machine had done its job, a single Hawker dragonfly and  - a bit surprising for this time of year - a Banded Demoiselle damselfly were still present.

I was horrified in June to find that the vegetation had been cut then, and mentioned that this usually happens in August. Well, it has happened in August (or possibly early September). Why - just as it was recovering - has it needed to be cut again? I haven't heard a good reason. Is this really necessary? Is this just a case of ignoring the beauty and importance of such a habitat in favour of just keeping it tidy?

The same thing has happened along the southern arm of the Ornamental waters, with emergent vegetation having been slashed as well as bankside ones. There were a few newly emerged dragonflies around there, but if we keep destroying their habitat, maybe there won't be in the future.

Paul Ferris, 13 September 2012