Walks Around The Pond

September 30, 2008

Fleet Pond Map 2014

This map is an updated version (2014) of the one that appeared in the original post in 2008. In particular it shows the new islands.

The recommended walks around Fleet Pond are marked by colour-coded posts (see also the map above) and introduce a selection of wildlife habitats. Please keep to the well-used paths.

Short Walk (Red Markers) 1km

The Red Route will take you past The Dry Heath, one of the two open heathland areas, along wood-land paths. The Route visits Boathouse Corner with its fishing jetty designed for wheelchair use and the Picnic Site with a good view of the lake, the fringing reedbed and the open marsh. Please note that the section of path between Boathouse Corner and the Picnic Site is a woodland walk with many tree roots to trip the unwary.

Medium Walk (Yellow Markers) 3km

This route takes a full circuit of the lake. The northern and western footpaths are suitable for wheelchairs and children carriers in all but the wettest weather. Excellent views of the lake can be had from the northern and north-western footpaths and from Chestnut Grove landing stage. The path crosses Brookly Stream, one of the two feeder streams into the lake. The oldest section of Fleet Pond’s woodlands, at Sandhills, has good specimens of oak and Scots pine. A carpet of bluebells appears in early spring. Coldstream Glade attracts butterflies, bees and other insects and Sandy Bay is a popular spot for people, with informal seats and good views. At Sandy Bay, the Gelvert Stream, enters the lake. Near Westover Road access point, you will pass through an open glade and, on a warm sunny day, smell the pungent aroma of bog myrtle.

Long Route (Blue Markers) 4km

This follows the Yellow Route but extends to include Brookly Wood and Wood Lane Heath. Brookly Wood was once a private garden and contains some of the Reserve’s best beech trees. There are also “exotics” here: bamboo, rhododendron and laurels. The footpath through Brookly Wood is narrow and can be very muddy in winter. Wood Lane Heath is a moist heath. Late July and August are the best times to see the heather in flower. The footpath skirts the heath and is informal but firm.


Fleet Pond and BBC Breathing Places

September 25, 2008

Breathing Places is a major BBC Learning campaign to inspire and motivate people to create and care for nature-friendly green spaces where they live. It aims to get millions of people to do one thing for nature.

A Breathing Place is a green space that benefits wildlife and the local community. It may be local woodland, roadsides, parks, local nature reserves or wildlife areas, ponds, green corridors and wildflower meadows.

The BBC works with a host of partner organisations, volunteer associations, environmental charities, city councils and educational groups.

Fleet Pond is one of these partners. If you go to the official website and type fleet pond into the search box a whole host of information on the Pond becomes available, including a map and information on recommended walks and volunteering activities.

The picture above is one of the downloadable wallpapers.

eBay and Fleet Pond Boathouse

September 18, 2008

Vicki Jull, who is on the Committee of Fleet Pond Society, is also very keen on the history of Fleet and environs. Out of curiosity, Vicki searched eBay recently to see if there was anything available related to Fleet Pond – quite a remote possibility you might have thought!

However a postcard with a picture of the old boathouse came up, which was about 100 years old! The image above is a scan from this (purchased) postcard. The original boathouse has long since disappeared although a Boathouse Corner can still be seen on the map (see About above).

Up until the 1930’s, Fleet Pond had a fine sandy beach on the east side that was a favourite spot for picnics and swimming (and associated boating).

Bats In The Evening

September 11, 2008

Here is a nice write-up of yesterday’s walk – A Wednesday Night Bat Walk. It even includes sample sounds  from the  Noctule, Pipistrelle and Daubenton bats that were there!

More information on bats can be found at the Bat Conservation Trust. This site includes sounds as well as pictures.

It is interesting to note that all UK bats and their roosts are protected by law.

Bat Walk This Week!

September 7, 2008

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

Further details on the walk can be found on a previous post and information on bats, among many other places, can be found at The Bat Conservation Trust.

Adder Alert…

September 5, 2008

This fellow was spotted by Colin Gray recently near Fleet Pond. It was moving slowly as it was a cool morning. It was gently helped across the footpath as there were several dog walkers in the vicinity!

The marshland surrounding Fleet Pond supports a rich diversity of wetland plants. Purple and yellow loosestrife, marsh lousewort, the rarer marsh cinquefoil and many different rushes and sedges are included. These support many different insects, spiders and snails, which in turn provide food for birds, small mammals, frogs and toads. The marshes support Fleet Pond’s two snakes. The grass snake is a good swimmer and finds most of its prey in wetland areas. The adder, more usually associated with dry habitat, is often found hunting in the wetlands where it is less likely to be disturbed by people and dogs.

Environment Agency Volunteer Day

September 5, 2008

A volunteer group from the Environment Agency (Thames Region), based at Frimley, will be carrying out work at Fleet Pond on Friday 26 September. They have never worked at Fleet Pond before and will be removing birch seedlings and saplings from the Link Glade, Dry Heath (near the car park).