Southampton is very lucky to have this wonderful green lung.
It is a great shame that some people still feed the ducks bread, and some have even fed meat to foxes, as both these activities attract rats, which eat the eggs and young of the birds these people surely love.
The cemetery lake is very badly damaged by the feeding of bread to ducks, and the wildlife of this pond is unlikely to recover unless this practice stops, so I would hope that mentioning it here increases awareness of the problem. The overabundance of nutrients makes the water toxic to the fish and amphibians (frogs and rare toads) who used to live here, and which could return or be reintroduced if the overfeeding stopped.
The only anwer is not to feed the ducks, and to hope that people become educated to the damage they are doing. If people wish to find out more, then they should go and have a chat to the ecologist at the Hawthorns, which is a wonderful centre for learning about the wildlife of the Common.
There are some wonderful rare plants on the common, some of which live in the short turf often used by people picknicking. It is also a shame to see some people lighting fires or barbecues on the grass, as every time this happens, another square foot of turf is killed - the grass will recover, but some of the rare plants risk extinction on the common if people continue to set fires and damage the rare plants they do not even notice.
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