Vote For ‘Fleet Pond Volunteer of the Year’

December 29, 2011

Please contact Colin Gray ( with your nomination for the

‘Fleet Pond Volunteer of the Year’ Award.

 This is an award that was initiated by Councillor Sharyn Wheale during her term as Chairman of Hart District Council and is made to someone who you think has gone the ‘extra mile’ in their voluntary work for the benefit of Fleet Pond of the Society.

Nominations must be received by the beginning of February.


Season’s Greetings To All Our Readers

December 23, 2011

Many thanks for the interest you’ve shown in Fleet Pond Blog this year. We’ve been fortunate in having had over 65,000 visits since it started in July 2008!

We’ve lots of ideas for posts for 2012 that we hope you’ll find interesting, so please stay tuned. Also, if you have any requests for topics, we’d be very happy to hear from you…

Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

By the way, if you decide to go for a walk round the pond during the holiday period, why not take your camera with you and, if inspired, enter our photography competition for 2011?

The deadline for entries is January 13 next year.

The pictures above (winner) and below (runner-up) are from the photography competition for 2010.

Mistletoe Merriment..!

December 20, 2011
Give us a kiss!

Michelle Salter writes:

Thank you to all the shoppers who stopped to buy mistletoe and Christmas cards from the Fleet Pond Society stall in the Hart Shopping Centre on Saturday.

We had great fun, and judging by the hundreds of bags of mistletoe we sold, there is going to be plenty of kissing going on in Fleet this Christmas!

In the process of generally mucking around and chatting to people, we managed to raise over £600 for the pond. 🙂

Also, a big thank you to Jim Storey and Laurie Heath for plundering an apple orchard in Somerset and trying to break the world record for how much mistletoe you can cram into a white van.

Merry Christmas!

Photo: Colin Gray

BT Lend A Helping Hand

December 18, 2011

Simon Hawes of BT writes:

Expertly directed and led by Colin Gray, Chairman of Fleet Pond Society, a working part from BT spent a day helping to clear an area of trees and saplings to allow the area to regenerate back to its natural reed bed status.

The 8 person team were participating through BT’s Volunteering scheme which sees employees making a difference in their local communities. The team enjoyed the opportunity to swap their desks, computers and conference calls for a day of outdoor physical activity. Whilst the main aim was to help in the Society’s conservation programme, the day brought the team together in a way that is not achievable within an office environment.

It was a tiring but a rewarding day and all agreed that it is something we would look into doing again!

Mistletoe Sale This Saturday

December 15, 2011

A Much Better Bridge At Wood Lane

December 13, 2011

The New Bridge Under Construction in October (See Also Photo At Bottom)

By now, I’m sure many of you have noticed the greatly improved access to the pond at the end of Wood Lane through the new bridge.

This is a really good example of Fleet Pond Society (working closely with Hart District Council and a local business Cove Industries) helping people appreciate the pond and it’s facilities.

The background to the bridge project is quite fascinating!

Cathy Holden writes (this press release originally appeared in Fleet News & Mail / Star Courier in early November):

“The old, but much valued Fleet Pond ‘Carnival Bridge’ has been given a new lease of life as well as a new position in the Reserve thanks to the generosity and skill of the staff at a local business, Cove Industries.  The recent official opening was a very special occasion as the guests of honour were the family of Charles Woodman, to whom the original bridge had been dedicated at its opening ceremony in 1979. On that occasion it was opened by his widow Mrs Kathleen Woodman, this time it was their daughter, Beaulah Bower, and her family who were thrilled to cut the ribbon.

In 1979 a £500 donation from the Fleet Carnival Committee, of whom Charles Woodman was the first President, met the cost of the new bridge. It was dedicated to him in gratitude for his valued service to the community, and this was recorded on a commemorative plaque. So the Fleet Pond Society was absolutely delighted when his daughter agreed to open the refurbished bridge and keep that important link.

Cleared of rust, widened with new metalwork, galvanised and brightly painted green, the refurbished bridge was lowered into position at the end of Wood Lane. Volunteers from the Society, along with the Countryside Rangers, installed the foundations needed to support the bridge. A shiny new plaque reflects the original dedication, as well as recognising the large part played by Cove Industries in the refurbishment. The old plaque was presented to representatives of the Fleet & Crookham Local History Group who spoke of the importance of archiving such pieces of historical interest.

A large new steel and wood bridge was installed earlier this year over the culvert where the original ‘Carnival Bridge’ stood.

Colin Gray, Chairman of Fleet Pond Society said: “This project meets very positive objectives; it rescues an old but much loved bridge from being sent for scrap, maintains a structure dedicated to a highly valued member of our local community and provides us with an attractive and safe access point to the Pond at Wood Lane which until now, has been inaccessible for wheelchair visitors. This is a brilliant example of what can be achieved by the combined resource of our much valued Countryside Ranger Service, the dedication of our volunteer ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ workforce led by Terry Austen, the assistance from local businesses, and not least the patience and understanding of the neighbouring residents who have tolerated the noise and dust we made cutting a new access base for the bridge.”

Men At Work! The Early Stages Of The Project

Terry Austen of FPS and Phil Gower of Cove Industries, with Geoff Dee of FPS in the background

If you would like to help support Fleet Pond Society (FPS) in it’s activities, please consider joining (details on the tab above). We’re always very keen on new members!

Volunteer Event – Sunday 11 December

December 10, 2011

The last Sunday volunteer event for 2011 will take place this weekend.

Colin Gray writes:

“After some debate on soil conditions and jobs needed, we have decided on a change of location for the December task.

Brookly Reedbed has been cleared of most of the invasive trees and scrub but there is still some tidying up to do and quite a lot of cut material to burn.  As the plan (subject to weather) is for a large bonfire and some baked potatoes this time Brookly seems the ideal place to go.   Meet at the Countryside Workshop as usual at 9.15 a.m.

For any newcomers the Workshop in Old Pump House Close has a postcode GU51 3DN.  However, one visitor found her SatNav took her to Pond View Close so look out for 65 Kenilworth Road as the Old Pump House Close is beside it.

Hope to see you there in festive mood and bearable festive weather.”

The locations referred to above can be found on the map given in the About page (above) to this blog. New volunteers are always very welcome!

We meet at the Countryside Workshop, Old Pump House Close (next to 65 Kenilworth Road) at 9.00 a.m. for a 9.15 start. Signposted directions to the site are available if anyone comes late.

Volunteers will need old clothing, waterproof if rain is expected, protective gloves and wellington boots (we have a supply of gloves and boots if you do not own these).

Current volunteers comprise a wide range of ages of both genders. We’re a very friendly bunch and we’re always keen to receive new volunteers, including students on the Duke of Edinburgh and Trident schemes.

To get a flavour of previous volunteer events (including many photos) please use the search facility on the upper rhs of this blog (type eg ‘sunday’).

Further details are available from:

Task Co-ordinator: Colin Gray at 01252 616183 or


Task Leader: David Buckler at 01252 521282 or