Clearwater Campaign brings new life to the Pond

Reeds will be planted on ledges around the islands

Reeds will be planted on ledges around the islands

Michelle Salter writes:

We’ve been extremely fortunate that grants from Natural England and the Environment Agency have made the current phase of dredging work possible. Fleet Pond Society are now able to spend some of the money raised by our Clearwater Campaign to implement plans within the Restoration Programme that fall outside of grant funding.

One of the first projects we hope to get off the ground (literally!) is a pond dipping platform for children. The platform will cost around £5000 and will be positioned over the small body of water called The Flash that runs under the bridge by the station. It should be in place by the end of February 2013, ready for visiting school, scout and guide groups.

You may have noticed that one of the new islands has just been covered with gravel. This is to create an environment that will encourage terns and Little ringed plovers. We hope to gravel-top another island by next spring, before the new breeding season starts. The cost of the geotextile sheeting and gravel required is about £4500.

Fish taken from Fleet Pond

Fish taken from Fleet Pond

The pond is in a poor state when it comes to aquatic flora and fauna. We plan to spend about £6500 on creating an aquatic nursery, by using a geotextile curtain to separate an area of water. Larger fish will be removed from this area and placed in the main pond. The separated area will form a reservoir of aquatic plants and animals that will help to repopulate the main pond once the quality of its water has improved.

Soggy Volunteers

Soggy Volunteers

Finally, on an extremely cold and wet day in February 2010, a small group of volunteers braved the soggy reedbeds to gather sacks full of reed seed heads. These have been stored and nursed to a mature state by British Flora, and our reed plugs should be ready to plant around some of the new islands in the spring. We’ve placed an order for 8000 of our Phragmites reed plugs which will cost £3500. Our patron, Chris Packham, has kindly agreed to plant the first reed.

The Fleet Pond Society would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Clearwater Campaign and we hope you will enjoy seeing the new life these projects will bring to the pond.

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