Volunteering At Fleet Pond 2015/16

September 1, 2015

Fleet Volunteer Poster 201516 FINAL

FPS Photo Competition: Nature’s Neighbourhood

August 28, 2015

FPS Photo Comp Poster b 2016

Why not give it a go?

The results from last year’s competition can be found here.

Advance Warning – Path Closure At The Pond

August 18, 2015

Rachel Jones, Hart Countryside Ranger, informs us that:

“Access to Chestnut Grove will be closed for 2 weeks for essential maintenance works. Please see the map here for the location (see lhs).

There will be strictly no access between the Brookly footpath and Chestnut Grove whilst the boardwalk is replaced.

There will be heavy machinery in the area. 

Please adhere to contractors signs and find a new temporary route around the road sides to avoid this area.

We apologise for the inconvenience caused and hope you will appreciate the need for a new boardwalk to ensure your future safety and enjoyment of Fleet Pond LNR.

Works begin Monday 24th August until 7th September.”

Bird Ringing At The Pond 2015

August 14, 2015

For interest, here is a selection of photos taken at a recent bird ringing exercise at the Pond which give a good flavour of the activity.

From the RSPB:

Wild birds have been ringed for just over a hundred years in many countries across the world. Currently, over 800,000 birds are ringed in Britain and Ireland each year, of which over 13,000 are subsequently found or recaptured away from where they were first caught. Many more are recaptured locally to where they were ringed.

Bird ringing in the UK is carried out by ringers licensed by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) on behalf of the statutory conservation agencies (Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, Countryside Council for Wales and Environment and Heritage Service Northern Ireland). It involves catching a wild bird and fitting a light silver-coloured metal ring of a correct size on its leg. The ring carries a unique number, by which the bird can be identified later if it is caught or found again, and a reference to the British Museum, London. This is used as a postal address for ring recoveries because it is internationally well known.

Download and read this RSPB document (pdf) for further information.

For a previous article on bird ringing at the Pond, please see here.

2015-07-10_Ringing 01

2015-07-10_Ringing 03

2015-07-10_Ringing 06

2015-07-10_Ringing 05

2015-07-10_Ringing 09

2015-07-10_Ringing 10

From Siem Reap To Angkor Wat For FPS

August 5, 2015


The Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Cambodia

Mandy Saxby, a Committee Member of Fleet Pond Society (FPS), writes:

“In November, I will be trekking in Cambodia to raise funds for Fleet Pond Society’s Clearwater Campaign. I will be walking about 20 kilometers a day for 6 days, through forests, paddy fields and up a small mountain.

This will be with a small party of others who will be raising money for their own chosen charities. We start at Siem Reap and walk in a big loop that brings us to our destination of Angkor Wat, somewhere I have always wanted to visit.

Why Fleet Pond Society? I can remember walking round the Pond as a small child and I am now a regular volunteer and committee member. The volunteering started when I responded to the Chairmans’ appeal for someone to take over the dipwell readings.

Dipwells are small plastic tubes with holes all the way up, pushed into the ground, that allow water to collect in so that a water level can be taken. I thought that sounded like something I could do easily and quickly (there are only 9 of them) so offered my services. In fact these dipwells are placed in the centres of some very unfriendly spots in the middle of marshes but I’m still doing it 12 years on!”

If you would like to support Mandy on her trek, which will raise funds for FPS’s Clearwater Campaign, please go to her page on Virgin Money Giving.

PS You can read more about the serious and fun aspects of dealing with the dipwells at Fleet Pond here and here.


Angkor Wat – An Impressive Aerial View

Picture credit: Wikipedia

Fleet Pond Achieves Green Flag Status

August 4, 2015


Rachel Jones, Hart Countryside Ranger, informs us that Fleet Pond has recently achieved Green Flag status, which is a national benchmark for parks and green spaces in the UK.

You can read about the Green Flag Award on their web site here, which includes:

“Awards are given on an annual basis and winners must apply each year to renew their Green Flag status. We realise that all green spaces are different and this diversity is welcomed, with each site being judged on its own merits and suitability to the community it serves.”

Picture credit: from their web site above.

An Amazing Bridge Across The Pond

July 26, 2015

RE Bridge 1885

Please click to zoom

David Pottinger writes:

Recently Colin Gray, Chairman of Fleet Pond Society, and his wife Mavis were having lunch in Serendipity in Fleet, when a lady sitting opposite noticed the FPS logo on Colin’s gilet.

“My husband has a photograph of a bridge over Fleet Pond” she said, “would you like to see it?” This was followed up and resulted in Fleet Pond Society obtaining the remarkable picture above.

So, literally, a really good example of serendipity, as the shop’s tagline is ‘the art of making happy & unexpected discoveries’!

Going into the fascinating background, Colin writes:

“The records of the training activity of the Royal Engineers (RE) and other army units based around Fleet and Aldershot are very limited. The RE Museum has not come up with any records of the RE training in the 19th century in this area. The local historians have written on the subject based mostly on what people living in Fleet have either remembered or been told by relatives.

The RE built the large island off Sandy Bay that we call Fir Tree Island, for example. They also built the large T-jetty that was demolished in 1912 to permit floatplane trials from the embankment where Lions View now stands. Mike Smith, who sold me the bridge photograph, believes the large trestle bridge was in fact built from that same embankment and the T-jetty might have been part of that bridge left as a jetty when the bridge itself was demolished.

The bridge was 470 yards long and extended from the sandy embankment on the eastern side across Fleet Pond to where there is now a white house set well back off the road at 93 Kenilworth Road. This house has views of the Pond through the viewpoint we opened to install two seats. It is near the small boat jetty built by our Last of the Summer Wine volunteers.

From the photographs I have collected so far, it seems that these major construction tasks were late 19th century. By 1904, for example, the T-jetty was already badly deteriorated and Fir Tree Island was already well established and tree-covered.”

Here are some other impressive pictures that relate to the military history of Fleet Pond, plus links to the associated articles.

A1904 RAE jetty 2

Read about the above picture here

army under canvas at pond small

Read about the picture above and below here

army cook house at pond small

Picture credits: top (Colin Gray) and for the others, please see the original posts.


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