Would You Like To Join Our Online Visitor Survey?

July 28, 2012

Fleet Pond Society is currently carrying out a visitor survey of the Pond. You may have already bumped into members of our survey team (see pictures above and below) and been kind enough to answer a few questions. But if you haven’t and you’d like to contribute online we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Simply download and fill in this short form (there are only 7 really simple questions) and email it back to our Chairman, Colin Gray.

I know that filling out forms can be an annoying business, so you might be wondering if it’s worth your time to participate – the answer to this is a very definite yes!

Colin Gray writes:

“Public money is spent on the management and maintenance of the Pond to keep it a safe and an enjoyable place to visit. To justify the money spent it is important to know how many people use it for recreation, what they use it for and in which area they live.

The area they live is important as it shows that the Pond does not just provide an amenity for people in Fleet but serves a much wider community. This proves its value and also justifies the use of public money from Hart District Council rather than Fleet Town Council.

It also helps if we need to ask for grant aid from neighbouring authorities like Rushmoor Borough Council for specific projects.

Finally it helps our future plans if we know what visitors would like that is not currently available.”

So, if you could spare the time to fill out the form and send it back, it would be greatly appreciated 🙂

As you can see from our previous posts (here, here), the usage of the Pond is quite widespread and feedback from visitors has been extremely encouraging!

If you have any immediate thoughts, please leave a comment below or on our Facebook or Twitter sites.


Help Look After Our Wild Bees

July 21, 2012

One of the most popular posts ever published on this blog was authored by Colin Gray (Fleet Pond Society Chairman) and the topic was (wild) bees!

If you look in the box on the right entitled ‘Top Posts’ you’re normally see it there even though it was published in November 2008!

Here’s an extract:

Did you know that Britain has more than 250 species of native bee? All of these bees play an essential role by pollinating flowers. But these bees are becoming scarce, with fewer wild flowers and suitable nest sites and an increase in pesticide use. Now around 25 per cent of our native bees are listed as endangered species.

Out of these 250 species, over 90% of them are solitary bees….

Solitary bees come in many different sizes, colours and shapes. Common solitary bees are mason bees, miner bees, sweat bees, wool-carding bees and carpenter bees. They vary in colour from basic black to bright metallic green, blue or red. Some solitary bees superficially resemble wasps.

The picture at the top is of a solitary bee.

On this topic, I recently came across this clip of Professor Simon Potts from Reading University talking on wild bees and the need to help improve their numbers.

There’s an associated press release here.

At Fleet Pond, we’ve been involved with putting up small ‘bee hotels’ on a number of occasions. These can be easy and fun to make using just piping and cut bamboo canes or perhaps fallen trees.

We’re thinking of putting up some new bee hotels – would you like to be involved? 

For example, it would make a great community or school project for children (and adults too) – a healthy and fun time outdoors with a real benefit to the environment 🙂

If you’re interested, please drop Colin Gray an email  – he’d be delighted to hear from you!

Picture credit: here

Have You Noticed The Story Trail At Fleet Pond?

July 13, 2012

Whilst helping out with the visitor survey recently I noticed the above sign on one of the posts – I was curious as to what a ‘story trail’ was!

Investigating further, and from their website:

With the help of professional storytellers from Orange Apples we have developed a range of family-friendly trails based on easy access, circular countryside paths of around a mile long. Each trail has its own special story to be shared with children (and adults!) along the way.

Luckily we have a story for Fleet Pond and it’s entitled:

“The Princess, the Pike and the Pond”

A free pdf of the story can be downloaded here (page 4 is given below as an example).

Why not try it out? We’d be delighted to hear how you get on!

You can contact us by leaving a comment on this post (see below) or else via our Facebook or Twitter sites.

More Progress With The Visitor Survey

July 9, 2012

Enjoying A Lunchtime Walk From The Business Park

During the recent brief good weather spell (well over a week ago now), we took the opportunity of continuing with the Fleet Pond Visitor Survey. Here are some photos from this lunchtime activity.

A Nice Place To Walk The Dogs

Taking A Lunchtime Break From Work At Dimension Data

Cycling To Work Via The Pond

Visiting From Yateley And Enjoying The Bird Life

Many people remarked that the link bridge (pictured below) made a big and very much appreciated improvement in accessibility!

At the current stage, we have conducted 135 interviews covering 222 people and logged over 500 visitors for the same period.

This is good progress, especially considering the poor summer weather.

If you have any immediate thoughts on the survey, please leave a comment below – we’d be delighted to hear from you!

We are planning on posting a formal visitor questionnaire on this blog shortly, in case there is an interest in responding this way.

The Famous One-Eyed Pike Of Fleet Pond Is No More

July 5, 2012

Rachel Jones (Ranger) With The Huge Pike

You never know the sort of things you’ll come across at the Nature Reserve – Rachel Jones, our Ranger, recently found this huge pike washed up dead at the Pond.

A local lady who walks the pond daily wandered by with her dog, and after a gasp of amazement, rather liked the fish and her name is Susan Pike!

The sad side is that it was an old fish, famous for having one eye. In fact Steve Lyons, Senior Hart Countryside Ranger, remembers it being caught a number of years ago.

I’ve always wondered what’s in the murky depths of Fleet Pond, so now I have a better idea!

For additional information on the fish at Fleet Pond, please see here and here.

Susan Pike (Visitor) With A Namesake

Many thanks to Rachel for the info and photos.