Storrington Conservation News: winter ice

The Dell on River Stor

Conservation Society Report No. 50

In winter, ice and snow can be expected. We may grumble as we scrape windscreens, but ice is quite remarkable. How many of us pause to think why ice floats as we take sip of a cool drink? It is simple physics, but a little considered wonder. We know that water gets more dense as it cools, so cold water sinks. Yet at 4 degrees Celius (Centigrade for some) water starts to become less dense, which means the coldest rises. And when the temperature reaches zero, ice forms on the surface. Bad news perhaps for water fowl and those drinking from bird baths, but good news for fish in ponds (and skaters). If water continued to get denser all the way down to zero, ice would first form at the bottom then gradually freeze the whole pond, forcing fish to the surface to die. Just one example to show that the world would be very different without this remarkable phenomenon. Please remember to keep bird baths free of ice over the winter when ponds and puddles freeze.

The Thursday afternoon project on 16th November was at Foxmead Court, another location we help to care for on behalf of the residents. We worked tidying up the pond and its surroundings.

Our work party on Saturday 2nd December at 10.00am was at Fryern Dell, removing unwanted growth by the pond. Our first meeting in 2018 is on Saturday 6th January at 10.00am. We will be at the Lower Dell managing and restoring the woodland. An opportunity for gentle exercise following the Christmas feasting. For those who wish to give more time, the morning work can be extended to 3.00pm. For details of the Thursday work party on 18th January at 2.00pm, please refer to our website nearer the time. Don’t miss out, add to our number.

Finally, a peaceful conservation New Year to our readers.

For information about this and all our activities, or on becoming a member, please get in touch with Chairman Mick Denness on 01903 745971, or see our website

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