Local Photography Competitions And Fleet Pond

September 18, 2014

FPS 2013 - Liza Toth

Liza Toth’s winning entry for the 2013 FPS Competition

David Pottinger writes:

Here’s a reminder that Fleet Pond Society’s Photographic Competition for 2014 was launched in July and has a deadline of 5th January 2015. The theme for this year is ‘Fleeting Moments’.

The overall winning photo for the 2013 competition (with theme ‘Woods, Water & Wildlife’) was awarded to Liza Toth and is displayed above. A full set of winners for 2013 can be found here and, under Pictures, the results from previous years.

Why not give this year’s FPS competition a go?

Please note that there are two other local photographic competitions currently running (with earlier deadlines) where pictures of Fleet Pond would also be eligible:

Whichever ones you enter, we wish you the very best of luck!


Feast Yourself For FPS – 13 October

September 15, 2014

FPS Dinner WEEd. Some fascinating background on the current High Sheriff of Hampshire, Jamie Balfour, can be found here and some interesting information on the history of the Office of the HIgh Sheriff is here, including:

The post has developed over a thousand years or more of continuous existence and devotion to the Crown. The duties of the High Sheriff have been adapted and moulded to the particular needs of each century. In a period of huge social change, the High Sheriff of the 21st century still fulfils the ancient role of supporting the shire, upholding its peace, encouraging loyalty to the Crown and stimulating its communities and voluntary societies to work for the common good. The Office lasts for a year.

Regarding Fleet Pond Society (FPS) and the High Sheriff, you can read about Terry Austin‘s recent prestigious award for his conservation work at Fleet Pond over many years, greatly benefiting the local community.

Volunteer Event This Sunday, 14 September

September 11, 2014

David Pottinger writes:

There will be a volunteer event this Sunday, 14 September at Fleet Pond, the start of a series of events for 2014-15.

Why not come along for some fresh air and exercise, as well as having the nice feeling that you’re doing something really useful for the local community?

For further information and booking (which is essential as tools and resources have to be planned beforehand), please contact Hart Countryside Services:

Phone: 01252 623443

Email: countryside@hart.gov.uk

The schedule for the following Sunday volunteer events (up to the end of 2014) is:

  • Sunday 12th October
  • Sunday 2nd November (so as not to clash with Remembrance Sunday)
  • Sunday 14th December

In general terms, and naturally depending on weather conditions, the aim of the first few tasks is to clear N E Marsh from Boathouse Corner through to the Lions’ View (clearance and thinning of trees and scrub).

The tasks are supervised by Rachel Jones of Hart Countryside Rangers together with members of Fleet Pond Society.

If you are new to these activities, here are some pictures from previous events to give you an idea of what they can be like.

As you can see, we have all age groups with both genders and we like to think we’re a very friendly and welcoming bunch! Why not give it a go?


You always get coffee and cakes as part of a mid-morning break and sometimes you get delicious baked potatoes as a special treat at the end!





2013-12-08_The Firemen


2014-04-13_02 sm


Dimension Data At Clearwater Island

September 7, 2014

2014-09-05 Diemnsion 2

Getting to the island

Colin Gray writes:

In late August, four very hard working volunteers from Dimension Data, led by Julie, were helping us remove a large invasion of weeds from Clearwater Island to expose the gravel for next year’s gulls and terns to nest on. A vast amount of weed was removed and is now in two huge piles to be burned at a later date when dry.

We were impressed at the amount of work they achieved in just 3.5 hours; in fact we had trouble persuading them to stop work and leave the island when Rachel and the LSW volunteers had commitments elsewhere in the afternoon. I think it was only the threat to leave them there without a boat and come back around 5 p.m. that decided them to leave!

2014-09-05 Dimension 1

The Dimension Data team taking a well-earned break

Ed. Dimension Data is a Corporate Member of Fleet Pond Society (FPS) and volunteers have helped out at the Pond over a number of years which has been greatly appreciated.

In addition, staff members have also raised funds for FPS through various challenges (see Three Peaks and Refresh Fleet Pond). Some reminder photos are given below:

Mike Ollington at Fleet Pond

Mike Ollington at Fleet Pond

Rob Johnson & dog

Rob Johnson & dog

Linda Biggins & Julia Eyles

Linda Biggins & Julia Eyles

How About A Bat Walk At The Pond?

August 27, 2014

Going a bit batty being stuck indoors?

Join Hart’s Countryside Rangers on a stroll around Fleet Pond. We will be using bat detectors in the nature reserve at night!

Find out all about these fascinating flying mammals and other nocturnal creatures that only become active after dusk!

Friday 5th September – Fleet Pond
Saturday 13th September – Fleet Pond 

£2.50 per person – payable on the day. To book a place either book online or email countryside@hart.gov.uk or phone 01252 623443.

If you’re new to bat walks, please see here and here for a writeup of previous impressive bat walks at the Pond.

Making A Splash With The Clearwater Cash

August 24, 2014

Clearwater Campaign Header

Cathy Holden writes:

When the Executive Committee of the Fleet Pond Society unveiled the ‘Clearwater Campaign’ at its AGM in 2010 little did the members realise how successful it would be. The Clearwater Campaign’s main aim was to raise community awareness of the desperate situation Fleet Pond was in after years of silt build-up, but also to raise funds.

The funds are intended to pay for projects not included in the major Restoration works funded by grants obtained by The Environment Agency (EA), Natural England (NE), and Hart District Council; although CC funds (of more than £20,000) have boosted some of this work.

Members of the Society and the local community have been extremely supportive of and generous to the campaign. In just over four years this campaign has enabled the Society to both gain funding for projects, and fund a range of projects itself to the value of £51,898.

Nick in Burford on 15th July 2010

Nick Keeley in Burford on 15th July 2010

There were several sponsored events by supporters of the Society, however three are deserved of special mention:

  • Nick Keeley, Society Treasurer, cycled from Fleet to Liverpool and back.
  • Committee member Mandy Saxby did a 24 hour continuous walk round the Pond.
  • Society President, Colin Gray did a 21 mile sponsored walk around the Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in the local area.

2014-08-21_Mandy's Walk

Mandy Saxby with Colin Gray


Colin Gray at Elvetham Heath during his 21 mile walk, together with Nick Keeley

The major dredging work has now finished for the season and it is important to point out how the money raised through the Campaign so far has been spent on a variety of smaller important projects as a part of the restoration:

  • The construction of an island specifically as a breeding area for terns and black-headed gulls. The hope is that NE permission will be obtained for a second island given the remarkable breeding success on Clearwater Island of both species; 104 black-headed gull chicks were ringed this spring.
  • The relocation of reeds into the extended reedbeds has enlarged the sanctuary for wildfowl and small mammals.
  • The new culvert in the Coldstream Glade area which enables water to flow more effectively through the rerouted stream, meaning that less silt goes into the Pond.
  • The newly created fish exclusion zone will allow water plants to return, helping to improve the clarity of the water as well as providing cover and protection for tiny water creatures.


The new and very popular Pond Dipping Platform

New structures have been provided through the campaign. The very popular Pond Dipping platform, paid for by the Fleet Morning Townswomen’s Guild and the accessible viewing platform on the eastern edge of the Pond, ‘Lions’ View’ generously paid for by Fleet Lions. Both these donations were made as a result of the Clearwater Campaign.

2014-04-18_05 Lions View Opening

Appreciating the magnificent vista from the Lions’ View

2014-07-11_new benches

Volunteers installing one of the new wooden benches

Visitors can now spot new benches around the pathways of the reserve, provided through money raised in the campaign. More practical items have also been funded such as stock fencing.

The Fleet Pond Society works in partnership with the Countryside Rangers of Hart District Council to guarantee that Fleet Pond Nature Reserve remains the wonderful natural habitat that it is today, to be enjoyed by all – so the ‘Clearwater Campaign’ continues, but money will now be raised for individually named projects when required.

If this article interests you, you may wish to consider joining Fleet Pond Society to help support our future activities (see here for details on how to do this). For further information about the Society, please take a look at the FPS website, our Facebook page or numerous articles on this blog.

A Fleet Pond Feast

August 3, 2014

Fleet Pond Feast 2014 a


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 64 other followers