Jim Storey writes:
We recently organised a very successful meeting with the organisations who have an interest in seeing the Pond brought back to its former glory. Hart District Council kindly hosted and attended, together with their Rangers Service. Natural England, the body with the oversight of our natural habitats came along as well as the local Environment Agency Conservation team, who lead on fisheries. The Wildlife and Wetlands Trust also sent a representative as the Pond is the kind of habitat they want to see thriving.
The aim of the meeting was to hear from Aquatic Engineering, a well-established ecological consultancy. They come highly recommended by the Environment Agency who they’ve worked with on restoring several major, water-based habitats. They’re just finishing a job off on the Serpentine for the Royal Parks. They and their partners, Ecosulis, are keen to help us move forward with a sustainable solution for the Pond. And they have offered some of their time pro bono.
Working On The Serpentine
They explained to us about solutions that are now available to reuse much of the unwanted silt that would come from dredging the Pond. We could create some new ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ reedbeds as well as a more permanent version of the ‘tern islands’. Of course any solution would need to cope with any further inflow of silt and detritus through the Gelvert and Brookly Streams. And there’s quite a science to creating reedbeds to cope with these pressures, as well as Canada Geese, if we want to attract wildfowl back in large numbers. Wouldn’t it be great to hear Bitterns booming again – that’s quite possible.
A Restored Bracknell Mill Pond
A Healthy Reedbed Corridor – Bitterns Love Them!
We were all very impressed with what Aquatic Engineering showed us. They agreed to take their ideas a little further so we can get an idea of the cost of the possible ways forward. We look forward to being able to share these ideas further with local people so they can give us their views, and very importantly, their support.
Photo credits: Glyn Onione