Fleet Pond In Hampshire Life Magazine (February)

January 30, 2012

(Click To Enlarge)

Fleet Pond has appeared in a previous issue of Hampshire Life – see here.

Permission to reproduce the above article has kindly been agreed by Hampshire Life.


Sunday Volunteer Event: Fact And Fiction

January 25, 2012

Enjoying Potatoes (Cooked In The Fire) With Butter And Cheese

The Sunday volunteer event on January 8th had another good turn out. As mentioned in a previous post, the aim was to remove birch scrub and saplings from the Dry Heath area. it’s amazing how fast they grow back!

The weather was fortunately very good. When we were at the same area previously, the pond had partially iced over. Of course, last year snow was everywhere.

The fire (for burning the cut scrub) was started early so that we could all enjoy a baked potato or two at the end. We also had a mid-morning snack as well of course – volunteers get treated well 🙂

The picture above shows a part of the completed task – not a sapling in sight! It’s actually quite impressive what a group of people can do in a morning, which is why these volunteer events are so useful for the upkeep of the Pond.

Of course it’s not all work, it’s great just to meet fellow volunteers and to get an catchup as well as to (sometimes) discover unsuspected common interests!

A good example of this was a random chat I had with a colleague which lead on to talking about the Danish TV series currently showing on BBC4, Borgen.

Screenshot From The TV Series Borgen (BBC4)

From this, it turned out we both had a strong common interest in Scandinavian crime fiction (Mankell, Larsson etc). Another colleague who had overheard us chatting then joined in as he had previously worked with a Swedish company and had got interested in the genre that way! It’s amazing how a few random sentences can develop into a really interesting conversation. Anyway, I’m looking forward to discussing these matters further…

Hope to see everybody at the next event on 

Sunday 12th February.

All new volunteers are very welcome!

If you are unable to come to volunteer events but would like to help support Fleet Pond Societyplease consider joining (details on the tab above). We’re always very keen on new members!

Picture credit: here.

Fleet Pond Restoration Project: Progress Update 1

January 22, 2012

Matthew Johns, of Johns Associates, writes:

By the end of this week, Hart District Council will have received tenders from up to 10 companies bidding to take forward a range of lake restoration engineering works in 2012.  The first phase of works is therefore likely to commence in early February 2012 until the end of March.  A second phase of works will then commence in August running until the end of October 2012.

A range of technical studies are continuing as part of the lake wide masterplanning works, this includes lake sediment sampling and analysis, habitat evaluations, works towards securing future funding, mapping of key historic and current lake features, and flood risk assessments.

Guidance on how you can find out more about the restoration project and key documents will be provided in future blog posts.

Fleet Pond Society has copies of all published project documents; please contact Colin Gray, Chairman of FPS (details are on the About page above).  Alternatively, please ask Louise Greenwood, the Countryside Ranger for Fleet Pond.

The support and understanding of the local community is always greatly appreciated and feedback and discussion is very welcome. In the first instance, please leave a comment below.

Reminder: ‘Fleet Pond Volunteer of the Year’ Award

January 21, 2012

Please contact Colin Gray (colin@fleetpondsociety.co.uk) 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 and the Society.

Nominations must be received by the beginning of February.

Fleet Pond Restoration Project: Introduction

January 19, 2012

As you will have noticed, there is a considerable amount of work going on at Fleet Pond at the moment and more is planned for the future.

To keep everyone well-informed, Matthew Johns, of Johns Associates, has kindly offered to write a series of posts on this topic, explaining the background as well as developments as they occur.

If you have any queries on the work being carried out, please leave a comment on this (or any other) post – we’d be delighted to hear from you.

For this introductory post, Matthew Johns writes:

This post is the first of many that will be written to provide an update on the progress of the Fleet Pond Restoration Project.  Its likely that if you are reading this you will be aware of the plans and funding that has been secured to take forward a series of lake restoration works over the coming years.  If not, here is a quick summary.

A Project Steering Group consisting of

  • Hart District Council
  • Fleet Pond Society
  • Natural England
  • Environment Agency
  • The Defence Infrastructure Organisation
  • Johns Associates

have been hard at work identifying opportunities to secure major funding to enable a programme of lake restoration to happen in Fleet Pond.  This builds on the strong efforts of the Fleet Pond Society, the Clearwater Campaign and all of the support and donations made by the people of Fleet and members of the Society.

There is one Fleet Pond Restoration Project and it involves everyone who has an interest in the lake.  A series of funding applications for lake restoration were made and were successful, with future funding bids being prepared already.  Due to the complexity and sensitivity of the works, a range of technical studies and detailed design work had to be completed, together with the need to secure the necessary environmental and planning permissions for the works.

There are clear objectives that have to be met for the funding mainly: restoration of the quality and condition of the lake part of Fleet Pond Site of Special Scientific Interest and to improve the water quality of the lake to assist in its meeting the requirements for ‘Good Ecological Potential’ under the EU Water Framework Directive.

Clearly, there are a wide range of other related objectives and the restoration project is aiming to deliver as broad a suite of improvements as possible, whilst still meeting the core objectives.

Fleet Pond restoration works that have been granted permission and have funding at the time of writing include:

  • dredging some of the lake sediment and re-use this (rather than pay for off site disposal) to create a series of small islands that will be used as new habitats (as well as a number of other benefits).
  • diverting some of the flow from the Gelvert Stream into a new channel (partly reusing an existing ditch) and into features designed to trap silt and allow it to be more easily managed.

A lake-wide master plan is being developed and is hoped this will have planning permission by the summer of 2012.  At the same time, more funding may have been secured to deliver a greater range of restoration works including further dredging and lake depth increases, restoration of the lower Brookly Stream, creation of areas with less bottom feeding fish and protection from grazing wildfowl to maximise the chance of aquatic plant recovery.

Johns Associates is supporting the Clearwater Campaign with the delivery of important and specific restoration proposals with funds raised so far through the campaign and these works should be ready for action during 2012.  This will also identify other areas where Campaign funds can be focused to make a real difference to the lake.

The History Board At Boathouse Corner

January 16, 2012

There is a new information board positioned at Boathouse Corner which gives an overview of the fascinating history of Fleet Pond.

If you are unfamiliar with the exact location of Boathouse Corner, please see the top right of the map of Fleet Pond on the About page above.

See also this interesting article on the Boathouse.

Quality Of Life Survey And Fleet Pond

January 7, 2012

A recent and prominent Halifax Quality of Life Survey has placed Hart in the top spot based on residents’ health and life expectancy, employment, a low crime rate, relatively good weather, and factors such as good broadband internet access. Excellent news!

The survey is based on information from the 405 local authority districts in the United Kingdom.

Further details are in the official press release.

In this context, The Guardian mentioned Fleet Pond as a noteworthy attraction (my emphasis in bold):

Toppling Elmbridge in Surrey to snatch the Quality of Life title, the study found that 95% of Hart’s residents are in good health, and tend to enjoy incomes at 40% above the UK average. Its levels of crime are the lowest in Hampshire and its attractions include more than 1,000 listed buildings, and Fleet Pond – at 52 acres Hampshire’s largest freshwater lake. It was Fleet Pond that laid the first foundation stones for Fleet, Hart’s administrative capital. The birth of the railways, along with the Victorian gentry’s penchant to skate on its frozen lake in winter, transformed the area.

See here for some interesting background on the story behind the role of the railways and the development of Fleet as a town.