A circular walk today in the New Forest starting and ending at Eyeworth pond.
The pond was created by the Schultze Gunpowder Company as a reservoir to hold the water needed during the manufacturing process – it is estimated it held 6 million gallons of water. Work started on the factory in 1860. By the late 1890s the Company employed upwards of 100 people and there were some 60 buildings. The factory continued in operation under new ownership until 1921. The manufacturing of explosives deep in the forest away from the local population reduced the risk to the public. Today the reservoir remains although the factory has gone, it remains as a feature and wildlife habitat. Little other evidence of the factory survives, although the superintendent’s and gatekeeper’s houses remain and are private residences.
Birds. on the pond.
2 female Goosanders were on the far side of the pond ( I have seen males here as well in the past but not today). Goosanders are diving duck, they have long, serrated bills, used for catching fish. They 1st bred in the UK in 1871. ( These ducks are known as Common Merganser in the USA).
Mandarin ducks have for many years been a regular bird on Eyeworth pond. They always draw a crowd, they were introduced to the UK from China in the 20th century and have become established following escapes from captive collections. In the UK there are now said to be about 2,300 pairs and according to Wikipedia the population in China is only 1000 pairs.
Woodland Birds. around the pond.
A woodland favourite is the Blue Tit.
Dunnocks are also known as the ‘hedge sparrow’, although they are not actually a sparrow. They’re actually the only UK member of a bird family called the accentors. The dunnock is also commonly mistaken for a female house sparrow. Dunnock is derived from the Old English word for ‘little brown’. This is because they do look drab from a distance but close up they are quite pretty with a mottled blue-grey breast and face.
Fallow deer are the most commonly seen deer in the New Forest currently numbers are maintained at about 1,300 Following the Norman Conquest of Britan ,the New Forest was proclaimed a royal forest, in about 1079, by William the Conqueror. Fallow deer were brought into the forest for the hunt. Forest Law, reserving the pursuit of beasts within it exclusively for the king and his officers.