Rushmoor Volunteer Recognition Event and FPS

December 9, 2016


Rushmoor Mayor Jacquie Vosper with Michael Thompson of FPS

Colin Gray, Chairman of Fleet Pond Society (FPS), writes:

“Last month Michael Thompson and I went to the Rushmoor Volunteer Recognition event at the Rushmoor Council Offices. Michael was presented with a certificate by the Mayor of Rushmoor Jacquie Vosper for his many and varied volunteering activities with Fleet Pond Society.

From the Rushmoor site:

Rushmoor has a rich tradition of voluntary organisations supporting our community. Volunteers are the life-blood of local projects, organisations and charities.

The Celebration Event was held at the offices of Rushmoor Borough Council on Wednesday 9th November 2016 from 12:00 pm to 1.30pm in the company of the Mayor of Rushmoor, Jacquie Vosper. At this event Voluntary Organisations had nominated  a volunteer to attend the lunch with a guest to receive a certificate from the Mayor in recognition of their volunteering activities.

Michael was nominated by FPS for his keen dedication to Fleet Pond. He is a regular at the Sunday work parties at which he is master of bonfire making, joins the Friday morning Last of the Summer Wine volunteers when his work schedule allows and he has hosted visiting children’s’ groups for pond dipping and other educational and fun activities (see example picture below).”

Many congratulations to Michael!


Volunteer Event This Sunday, 11 December

December 7, 2016

There will be a volunteer event at Fleet Pond this coming Sunday and all are welcome to attend (see below for registering).

Colin Gray, Chairman of Fleet Pond Society, writes:

“Our task for the coming Sunday is an attack on birch and a coppicing of gorse up on the Dry Heath adjacent to the reserve car park.

Assemble as usual at the Countryside Workshop at 9.00 for a 9.15 a. m. start. The soil will not be as muddy but could be wet underfoot so waterproof boots recommended.

This is our last task before Christmas and our tradition has been that anyone who feels in a festive mood can bring along some festive nibbles to share around. This is not an obligation so you will not be turned away, or denied any nibbles, if you cannot make a contribution!”

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

Phone: 01252 623443

The Sunday volunteer tasks are supervised by a Hart Countryside Ranger, Nick Macfarlane, together with members of Fleet Pond Society.

A full listing of the Sunday volunteer events for the 2016/17 season can be found here. Why not give it a go?

Secretive Water Rail Seen at the Pond

December 7, 2016


Local photographer John Sutton grabbed this impressive snap of a water rail on the Pond during the recent icy weather. This is a very secretive bird that lives deep in the reedbeds from most of the year, but emerges into the open when the pond is frozen over. You can get a good idea of its size by the moorhen just behind it!

Further information on the Water Rail here.

End of Algal Bloom Alert

December 7, 2016

Earlier this year, a warning was given of the presence of harmful algal blooms at Fleet Pond (see here).

We are happy to say that the blue green algae has now gone from the Pond as confirmed by the Environment Agency last month.

The Mannequin Challenge Conservation-Style

November 24, 2016

“Hart District Council and Fleet Pond Society give the Mannequin Challenge a go, in the midst of a spot of Reedbed Management.”

Of course, sometimes things go to the opposite extreme (see here)🙂

Some Fascinating Fleet Pond Facts

November 20, 2016


Michelle Salter, Secretary of Fleet Pond Society, writes:

How old is the pond? The first clear reference to the pond was in the 14th century, when “the great fishery (of) Fleet Ponds” is referred to in the Rolls of Account of Crondall Manor. By this time, there seems to have been a thriving fishery of considerable importance and two ponds.

Do any museums house records of the pond? Many Victorian naturalists visited Fleet Pond and references to its flora frequently appeared in natural history journals from this era, with herbarium sheets located at the Natural History Museum in Kensington and also at Reading and Oxford.

When was the pond used as an ice rink? In the 1840’s, the South Western Railway ran special excursions to Fleet Pond, including a “Skating Specials” in the Winter.

When was the pond, not a pond? In 1940, the MOD completely drained the pond to stop hostile bombers from using it as a landmark to find the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough (see photo above).

What title did the pond receive in 1951? The pond was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1951 and was one of the first sites in Hampshire to receive this distinction, due to the importance of the lake to waterfowl and the rich aquatic and heathland flora.

Ed. This article is a repost, it was originally published in October 2008.

News and Activities at Fleet Pond (Update 1)

November 16, 2016


A screenshot of the current home page of the FPS web site

David Pottinger writes:

Different people like getting their information in different ways. At Fleet Pond Society we have set up a variety of ways which hopefully cater for most tastes and which give a wide selection of snippets, photos and articles.

Here they are and as a comparison I also give the numbers (which can vary daily of course) from a similar post I wrote in April this year:

In addition, FPS regularly submits articles for publication in local newspapers, such as Surrey Hants Star Courier and Fleet News & Mail.

Happy reading🙂