STROUD Gardening Club held their first meeting of 2019 on January 16, when members were welcomed by chairperson Sharon Pellatt who reminded all members that the Annual General Meeting is to be held on February 20, when everyone is invited to attend and to bring up any constructive suggestions.

She stressed that this is so important for the continuing success of the club, as is the need to increase the membership where possible.

Sharon then asked everyone to welcome Dave Knowles to give his talk on garden ponds for wildlife, and their part in conservation.

Dave explained that he does lots of voluntary work for conservation of all wildlife, and this includes another of his interests which is photography.

He explained that the volume of water in gardens doesn't need to be large, and can range from a large puddle to a big pond.

These are usually a body of standing water, and they tend to be fairly shallow.

They can be inhabited by plants, animals, birds, insects and fish.

They are usually freshwater bodies of water, and can be home to amphibians such as frogs, toads, and newts; reptiles such as grass snakes and slow worms and plants such as water lilies, bullrushes, ferns and bluebells, marsh marigolds, duckweed, dandelions, and water reeds.

All of Dave's talk was accompanied by slides to illustrate the subjects, and as he explained Ponds = Conservation of Nature.

Then followed a question and answer session, and Sharon then thanked Dave on behalf of those present for a very entertaining and enjoyable evening.

This was followed by refreshments, with cakes made by Sharon and Jan, and then the raffle to round off the evening.

Our next meeting is our AGM on February 20 at 7.30pm at the Bedford Street Congregational Church Rooms, when we are happy to extend an invitation to all our members and any visitors that would like to come.