‘The Common’ is central to all the sites, and is the most interesting and diverse botanically. Here you can see, amongst many other species, wild orchids, cottongrass, bog-bean and tall reeds. Typical birds of reedbeds such as reed warblers, sedge warblers and reed buntings can often be found here. Management mainly consists of cutting the reeds and other vegetation following a programme set out for us by English Nature. The invasive alien Himalayan Balsam infests the wet borders of Fox’s Beck, and an annual task is to remove it before it sets seed, in order to restrict its spread along the watercourse. We are rather proud of our Volunteers’ success in controlling this pernicious, albeit pretty, weed. The pond on Pit Common is well-stocked with native fish and is home to moorhens, mallards and the occasional visiting heron. School Common is largely woodland. The pond on the Jubilee Boardwalk is infested by another invasive alien, Crassula Helmsii for which there is as yet no known reliable control method. Nonetheless, frogs spawn here in large numbers every spring, and dragonflies also frequent it in the summer months.