Happy Fleet, Once Again

December 30, 2013

From The Guardian (my emphasis in bold):

“The Hampshire town of Fleet and its surrounding area has been named the healthiest, happiest and wealthiest place to live in Britain for the third consecutive year…

The annual Halifax “quality of life” survey takes a long list of factors into account, ranging from health statistics, sunshine and rainfall, employment and school results to burglary rates, broadband access and levels of personal well-being as measured by the Office for National Statistics…

The town’s enviable transport links – Fleet is less than 40 minutes from London by fast train, and the M3 brushes its northern edge – have kept it popular with commuters. And there’s a notable beauty spot in the form of the Fleet Pond nature reserve, said to be the largest freshwater lake in Hampshire.”


FPS Photo Competition Deadline – Monday 6 January

December 27, 2013

David Pottinger writes:

Here’s a reminder that the deadline for the FPS Photographic Competition for 2013 is

Monday 6 January 2014

and this year’s competition theme is

“Woods, Water and Wildlife”.

So there’s two weekends left to go around the pond and take some new photos (weather conditions allowing) or, if you already have a number of photos already available, selecting some for entry (with up to three allowed per person).

The competition is open to all and there is no entry fee.

Competition details can be found here and previous winning photos (for the years 2005 – 2012) can be found here.

We look forward to your entries and wish you the very best of luck!

Season’s Greetings To All Our Readers

December 21, 2013


Volunteering At The Pond

December 20, 2013

David Pottinger writes:

Over the past few months there has been an enormous amount of conservation work carried out by volunteers at the pond. We’re really grateful for all the efforts that so many people have put in!

As you can imagine, we’re always looking for new volunteers – why not make it a New Year’s Resolution for 2014? The two main volunteering activities are carried out by the Sunday Volunteers and by the Last of the Summer Wine team.

Here’s a collection of pictures taken at recent events (spanning November and December) that give a flavour of the work carried out, together with descriptions. Many thanks to Rachel Jones, the Grazing Ranger for Hart Countryside Services, for providing the photos and text!

The locations mentioned can be found on the map of Fleet Pond here.

Sunday Volunteers:

8 December 2013:

2013-12-08_The Lads

The Lads

2013-12-08_Time for Coffee and Cake

Time for coffee, cakes and a catchup 🙂

2013-12-08_The Firemen

The Firemen

Rachel writes:

A great Xmas FPS day had by all this Sunday. Thank you for all your hard work, especially to the new recruits! The team cleared all the storm damaged branches off the Brookly stream bed and surrounding area and burnt up a huge pile of scrub cleared recently.

Obstructions in the Gelvert Stream were pulled out and a start was made on Terry and Mandy’s dipwell route! Hot spuds and Mars cake were well received  – thank you Colin!

3 November 2013:




Rachel writes:

We had six new recruits at the Fleet Pond Society Sunday morning task today! Every one worked hard clearing birch that had encroached on the Dry heathland. Now you can see the heather more clearly and the cut stumps were treated and roots and brash carefully burnt on our fire site. The picnic area was tidied up a bit after the recent storm damage.

The Explorers also joined us and enjoyed the hot potatoes and famous Mars cake! The overgrown footpath leading from the car park is also clear enabling easier access for wheel chairs and buggies. Thank you to all who came and we hope you had a very enjoyable day!

Last of the Summer Wine (LOSW):



LOSW were out in the fresh autumn air working hard clearing bracken on the woodland edge at Fleet Pond. Removing the bracken gave more bluebells a chance to thrive last year, and we hope to see them benefit this spring now the sunlight can penetrate the soil. The LOSW team aim to make the woodland walks around Fleet Pond even more enjoyable by putting in the hard graft now 🙂




A brilliant morning was had by the LOSW team (Rangers Rachel and Will were also kindly invited ). Grasmere Marsh was polished off by brush cutter Terry and and the cuttings were burnt on the fire site. Mandy , Nick and young Nick did the real work with the scythe and rakes!

This was an important task as it was part of the management plans reed bed rotational cutting regime to improve the quality of the habitat for particular bird species, invertebrates and other wildlife around Fleet Pond.



A great turn out for LOSW this Friday when all the team got stuck into cutting back vegetation on the banks of the Brookly stream. They got down in the water to scoop out leaves and debris to ensure good water flow. There is work to be done in the area to ensure the flood banks are not obstructing the main flow of the stream if we get heavy rain, so the rangers will continue this work next week.

Festive Photography

December 17, 2013


From the FPS Flickr Group (photo by Mark Holroyd)

David Pottinger writes:

You may be lucky enough to get a camera this Christmas and fancy trying it out. If so, and you manage to get some good photos at the Pond, why not submit them to the FPS Flickr Group? We are always keen on new members. The widget on the rhs of this blog gives the latest submissions to the group.

As an example, the impressive picture above, by local photographer Mark Holroyd, is from this set (please note that this photo is All Rights Reserved, you need to contact Mark if you’d like to use it).

In addition, you may also wish to enter the:

FPS Photographic Competition for 2013 (see below).

The deadline is 6th January 2014.

We look forward to your entries!

Photo Comp Poster 2013 b

Fleet Pond Featured At The New Premier Inn

December 13, 2013

2013-11-18_Premier Inn 1

A large and attractive picture of Fleet Pond in the entrance and reception area of the new hotel (click to enlarge)

David Pottinger writes:

In early October, and just prior to opening, volunteers from the new Premier Inn in Fleet took on a conservation task at the Pond, which was greatly appreciated (see team photo below and more photos here).

An impressive aspect of the new hotel that might not be well-known is that it features many pictures taken around the Pond, which is a really nice touch. For interest, some of these pictures are presented above and below (click photos to enlarge).

The strapline for the picture above is:

“Absorb the outstanding natural beauty of Fleet Pond. Then catch up on your beauty sleep with a great night’s sleep, guaranteed.”

2013-11-18_Premier Inn 2

Two pictures that are featured in the dining area


A closer view: Jetty by Mark Holroyd (see also here)

2013-11-18_Fleet Pond Dusk

A closer view: Fleet Pond Dusk by Paul Marshall

2013-10-02_Premier Inn 3

The Premier Inn team at the conservation event in October

Photo credits: with the kind permission of Premier Inn.

North East Reserves At The Pond

December 11, 2013

2013-12-03_HIWWT NERT

The North East Reserves Team at the Pond

Rachel Jones writes:

“A fantastic turn out from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIWWT) North East Reserves Team Tuesday group.

A huge thank you for your efforts, clearing storm damage branches in the car park edges and then attacking the birch encroachment on the dry heath land.

Volunteer John got an impressive fire going and most of the cut scrub was burnt up and stumps treated. I found it hard to keep up the pace collecting all the cuttings! HIWWT Leader Guy kept the group under reasonable control so that they didn’t clear all the trees!

There was a keen interest in the history booklet created by Fleet Pond Society (see a sample page below and visit here for a free download) as well as maps of the pond as those who had not been before were keen to come back to walk the footpaths.”

Fleet Pond History Pamphlet p3