Plane on Fleet Pond!

August 27, 2008

Well, not recently! However it’s true that Fleet Pond was used for the testing of hydroplanes by Geoffrey de Havilland and his log book records several flights from April 1912.

At this time, de Havilland was working as a test pilot and designer at the (then) Balloon Factory at Farnborough. This later became the Royal Aircraft Establishment.

Recently (July 2008) a book has been published on The Balloon Factory by Alexander Frater and reviewed here. If anyone has a copy and has found any further information on the role of Fleet Pond, please let us know (via a comment below)!


Fleet Pond Society at Fleet 100

August 27, 2008

Fleet Pond Society had a stall at the recent Fleet Centenary Celebrations. In spite of the inclement weather there was a lively turnout! Five new members were recruited and funds were increased through the sales of promotional goods and through contributions to the gift box.

Details of how to join can also be found here.

Volunteers’ Conference (HIOW Wildlife Trust)

August 27, 2008

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is holding a Volunteers Conference on Friday 12 September in Winchester Guildhall (10.30 – 15.30). The meeting will include a guided walk along the Itchen as well as a talk by Guest Speaker Chris Packham, the well-known TV presenter, photographer and author. Chris is also the Patron of The Fleet Pond Society.

The Water Vole artwork above is by Greg Poole (the Wildlife Trust is currently running a Water Vole Appeal).

Fleet Pond Circa 1908!

August 17, 2008

As part of the recent Fleet Centenary events, a free event programme and guide booklet to Fleet was produced. It contained reproductions from an old Guide to Fleet booklet. This booklet is not dated, but information in it shows that it was written about 1908.

Here’s an interesting excerpt:
“One of Fleet’s chief attractions is the large sheet of water known as Fleet Pond, between which the railway lines run on an embankment. Various suggestions have been put forth as to its existence, but no doubt it has been a miniature lake for many years. The pond belongs to the military authorities for training purposes, but it is practically free to the public, and delightful walks can be had through shady trees and leafy groves. Severe weather, too, in winter, sometimes forms a great attraction, as when frozen over the pond makes an ideal skating rink. To children the pond had its special charm, as with a little imagination, and a spade and bucket, the small fry can readily suppose they are on the sand at the seaside”

Further historical information can be found via The Fleet & Crookham Local History Group.

CSV Action Earth 2008

August 13, 2008

Action Earth provided grants of up to £50 (funded by Morrisons) to assist groups in England, Scotland and Wales to carry out environmental projects. The projects ran from 1st March through to 31st July 2008.

There were 22 projects in Hampshire and two, Banking on Safety and Go Mud-Free Meandering, involved Fleet Pond Society.

Here’s a photo of the volunteers in their fetching plastic tabards!

If you fancy participating in such activities, please contact the Chairman, Colin Gray (details in the About section of this blog).

Fleet Centenary and The FPS

August 7, 2008

A packed programme of events has been planned for Saturday August 9 as the Fleet Business Partnership presents the Fleet Centenary Celebration. The hardware store W C Baker and Son, which is celebrating 100 years of service in Fleet, is sponsoring the day.

As part of these celebrations, Fleet Pond Society will have a stand opposite the Robert Dyas shop in the Hart Shopping Centre from 9.30 to 16.30. Please drop by for a chat on what Fleet Pond and the associated Society have to offer and, if interested, ways in which you and your friends and family can join in.

Bat Walk At Fleet Pond

August 5, 2008

This will take place on Wednesday 10 September. Meet at Fleet Station pay & display car park next to the reserve at 7.30pm.

Join ranger Joanna Lawrence and local bat expert Paul Hope on an evening bat walk to find out more about bats and which ones are using your nature reserve after dark. If you have a bat detector please bring it with
you, however, some will be provided.

Duration approximately one to one and a half hours.

Official note:

All walks advertised above are weather dependent and may be altered at short notice. Unfortunately due to the possible disturbance to wildlife and grazing animals dogs are not permitted unless stated.

Due to popularity, some walks may need to be booked in advance. Please check to see if this is one of the ones you are going on. Please note that the walks are due to begin at the times advertised so please arrive a couple of minutes early to avoid disappointment.

If you would like to arrange a guided walk for a group or a club then please contact us to arrange a convenient time for yourselves.

For an informal chat about any of these activities, such as accessibility and suitability for children, please contact the Countryside Rangers on 01252 623443, or via email on