Michelle Salter writes:
Employees from Dimension Data once again blazed a trail at Fleet Pond, this time by providing a workforce to tackle an essential upgrade to the footpath at the end of Westover Road that leads to Gelvert Glade.
Dimension Data’s head office is based on Waterfront Business Park, which overlooks the pond. Earlier this year, staff raised over £1000 for the pond’s Clearwater Campaign, by holding a continuous 12 hour relay around the nature reserve.
On Friday 28th October, staff came to the assistance of the pond again, by providing the manual labour needed to repair a degraded stretch of path. The Fleet Pond Society had set aside funds to pay for the materials needed, and when a willing volunteer taskforce came forward to take on the job, they arranged for a large quantity of gravel to be delivered to the workshop.
Over the years, boardwalks have been added and the paths upgraded and repaired on numerous occasions, to cope with the large number of visitors the pond receives each year.
The Dimension Data team, blessed with a fine and dry afternoon, soon had the gravel in place. Colin and Terry, from the Fleet Pond Society, used the tractor to ferry gravel and tools, including a mechanical tamper, to site.
With Louise Greenwood, Fleet Pond Ranger, on hand to direct proceedings, the team compacted the gravel with the help of the vibratory plate tamper and levelled off the path evenly.
As Colin commented, “The team did a very good job, and without much intervention from me!”
Fleet Pond Society would like to thank the employees of Dimension Data for using some of their ‘Giving Time’ to support the maintenance of Fleet Pond.
‘Giving Time’ is an initiative that offers full time employees 8 hours of paid volunteer leave a year, to use their time and skills to help out a charity or fundraising project.
Many other companies run similar schemes, as a contribution to the community or as a team-building exercise, and they are always welcome at the pond.
Work can be organised to suit most abilities, but it is mainly manual labour. In summer, there are stream bank repairs, post and rail fence repairs and the upgrade of footpaths. In winter, there are conservation management tasks, such as clearing scrub and saplings from the open areas of marsh and heathland. Or, for the more adventurous, boats are used to clear reedbed edges of encroaching scrub.
Regular volunteer events are held at the pond on the 2nd Sunday of the month (except in July & August), details of future events can be found here.