There’s Something New At The Pond

February 26, 2014

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I wonder what it can be? More coming shortly…

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Photo Competition Winners For 2013

February 26, 2014

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Last Saturday, after the Fleet Pond Society AGM, the winners of the FPS Photographic Competition for 2013 were announced (see above).

Full scale versions of the above photos plus additional information on the competition will appear in future posts on this blog.

Many congratulations to all the winners!


Sunday 9 February – Mending Fences And Hot Potatoes

February 20, 2014

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Enjoying a tasty hot potato at the end of the task

Rachel Jones, the Countryside Ranger, writes:

“Despite a VERY poor stormy forecast we still had a great turnout for the FPS Sunday! A few new people worked really hard and got stuck in as part of the team. We had 3 tasks going on so there was some choice.

The main task was clearing bramble and branches off the old fence line along the North Eastern track (see below). A fair lot of pine saplings were pulled up on the railway heath and more Eastern View point work was done by laying more sleepers.

A great fire burnt up from previously cut scrub, and the pine trees that the Fujitsu volunteer team had cleared were tractor and tailored over by Geoff and Carol with helpers, to pop on the fire.

Michael and David Buckler managed the fire and we all got hot spuds at the end (see above). Many thanks to Mavis Gray as well as to Terry’s portable oven!

A huge thanks to all involved and please remember to book in with me if you want to come on the next meeting (few days before at least, thanks).”

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Busy mending fences

Ed. The area that we worked on in January was completely waterlogged due to the downpours. It’s interesting to compare the before and after pictures (see below)!

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February (waterlogged)

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January (the same area)

The schedule for the coming Sunday volunteer events is:

  • 9th March
  • 13th April
  • 11th May
  • 8th June.

As there is a summer break, the start date for the next season is 14th September 2014.

Why not come along for some fresh air and exercise, as well as having the nice feeling that you’re doing something really useful for the community

For further information and booking (which is essential as tools and resources have to be planned beforehand), please contact Hart Countryside Services:

Phone: 01252 623443

Email: countryside@hart.gov.uk


Fleet Pond Society AGM – Saturday 22 Feb 2014

February 17, 2014

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The winning photo, by Linda Kent, from last year’s photographic competition

Michelle Salter, Secretary of FPS, writes:

“The Annual General Meeting of the Fleet Pond Society will take place at 7.15pm on Saturday 22nd February 2014 at St. P & J Church Hall, Kings Road, Fleet.

We would like to encourage all our members to attend. This is your opportunity to put questions to the Executive Committee and share your views on the future of Fleet Pond Nature Reserve.

Nominations are requested for the election of Officers and Members to the Executive Committee. Current committee members are required to stand down at the AGM but will be eligible for re-election.

If you would like to nominate someone, please contact me via Michelle@FleetPondSociety.co.uk

Following the official business of the AGM there will be a short break for refreshments before we announce the winners of the Photographic Competition 2013. We do hope everyone who has entered will come along to see their photographs on display.”

Ed. Previous winners of the popular local Photographic Competition can be found here (see also pictures above and below, from here).

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 The recipients of the winning and highly commended awards from last year’s photographic competition


Guided Walks And Events 2014

February 16, 2014

2014 Guided Walks Poster HartDC


Improving The Wildlife Diversity At Fleet Pond

February 14, 2014

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Plan for the Fish Exclusion Zone (click to enlarge; feature legend on rhs)

Colin Gray, Chairman of Fleet Pond Society, writes:

Fleet Pond Society’s Clearwater Campaign will be providing funds for measures to enhance the wildlife diversity of Fleet Pond.

Two projects are planned:

Project 1: Reed Relocation (Eastern Side)

The new line of islands along the eastern side of the Pond will be planted with reeds taken from one of the main existing reedbeds. Brookly Reedbed has reached a maturity where there is little water within the reeds. A series of channels cut into this reedbed will help invigorate the reeds and bring water into the bed providing new habitat and feeding areas for the wildlife within the reeds.

The reed rhizomes (roots) removed in this way will provide stocks to plant on the eastern islands. This will widen the area of reed on the eastern side and provide reeds that grow in shallow water, ideal habitat to reedbed birds like the Water Rail and, who knows, might eventually attract the return of the Bittern, not recorded at Fleet Pond for many years.

The island closest to Sandy Bay will be planted by volunteers as the dredging pontoons cannot negotiate the shallow water so close to the beach.

Project 2: Creation of a Fish Exclusion Zone (Western Side)

The second project is the creation of an area of open water segregated from the main Pond by a permeable curtain. The curtain will allow free passage of water but will restrict the ability of fish to enter the zone. Fish will be removed from this new zone by the use of netting and electro stunning. The latter method stuns the fish for a short time so they can be carefully netted and relocated in the main Pond.

The objective is to permit the natural regeneration of aquatic plants and invertebrates safe from fish predation to create a reservoir of these vulnerable species to restock the main Pond when the dredging work is completed.

Removing fish will allow zooplankton (tiny creatures like daphnia for example) to thrive. These feed on the algae that is in suspension in the water and which is partly responsible for the very cloudy nature of the water. If the algae are removed in this way it helps to clarify the water allowing light to reach the seeds in the base mud of the pond. A further aid to regeneration of aquatic plant life.


The High Sheriff Of Hampshire Visits Fleet Pond

February 11, 2014

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The High Sheriff of Hampshire, Rupert Younger, with Terry Austin (right) at the Pond last week

Cathy Holden writes:

“We are absolutely thrilled that Terry Austin, Vice Chairman of Fleet Pond Society, has been named as a winner of the Hampshire High Sheriff’s Community Award. This prestigious award is given to members of the community who deserve special recognition for their community activities.

Rupert Younger, High Sheriff of Hampshire, and his team visited Fleet Pond last week for Terry to give them a tour and update them on the Restoration Project.

Terry is a tireless worker for the Pond and is responsible for planning and implementing several innovations such as the Fleet Pond Clearwater Campaign DVD, the Kenilworth Road boat launching platform, the dipping platform at The Flash and the History Board and leaflet amongst a myriad of other projects.

He also leads the ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ team of volunteers on a Friday morning; this team complete a variety of jobs to help keep Fleet Pond and its surrounding Nature Reserve in good condition and a site of great benefit to the local community.

Terry will be receiving his award from the High Sheriff in the Great Hall at Winchester on 1st March.

There will be a full article on Terry’s achievement, along with photos of the award ceremony on this blog as well as in the Spring issue of the FPS newsletter (available to members of FPS, joining instructions here).

Congratulations Terry on a very well deserved award!”

Ed. The pictures below give a flavour of the activities mentioned above.

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Producing the Clearwater Campaign video (featuring Chris Packham)

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The Boat Launching Platform near Kenilworth Road

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Putting together the Dipping Platform at The Flash

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Installing the very popular History Board

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The ‘History of Fleet Pond’ leaflet (available as a downloadable pdf)

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Members of ‘The Last of the Summer Wine’ team in action on one of the new islands

Credits: Top picture courtesy of Nick Royse.