Blog Facts and Figures: 2014

December 31, 2014

WordPress.com has automatically prepared a 2014 annual report for our blog and here it is:

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

If you fancy setting up your own blog (personal or business), WordPress is a good option, you can find details here (they have a free plan).

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A Pictorial Review Of 2014

December 29, 2014

2014-10-24_A Young Volunteer

 Who said driving a tractor was hard?

David Pottinger writes:

Here’s my selection of photos that were published on the blog during 2014 (plus two others). They are mostly in chronological order, January to December.

As you can see, a lot more goes on at the Pond than you might imagine!

If you’d like to support Fleet Pond Society, please consider joining, it’s just £10 a year (with the newsletter emailed) or £15 via post (see here).

Membership fees help us carry out a wide variety of tasks that extend and complement those carried out by Hart Countryside Services. In addition to this, we also greatly appreciate funds and services kindly provided by a number of local organisations and companies.

On the theme of pictures, please note that the deadline for the FPS Photographic Competition for 2014 is fast approaching – 5 January 2015. You can find the details here. Best of luck!

2014-01-20_Fujitsu Team

The team from Fujitsu helping out in early January

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This is the sort of thing that volunteers end up doing!

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 The start of the year was unfortunately a bit of a washout

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 The photo competition winners for 2013 – see here for a slideshow

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The overall winner for the 2013 FPS Photographic Competition – Liza Toth

2014-02-26_Eastern Viewpoint 2

 Something unusual being constructed at the Pond!

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 BT volunteers together with Rachel Jones, Hart Countryside Ranger

Phill Gower Volunteer of the Year 2013

 FPS Volunteer of the Year for 2013 – Phil Gower

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 FPS stalwart and Deputy Chairman, Terry Austin, receiving a well-deserved award from the High Sheriff of Hampshire

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 The Lions’ View taking shape – an attractive new addition to Fleet Pond

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 The opening ceremony for the Lions’ View

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How surprising – an albino hedgehog!

2014-05-31_WD Parade of Stands

The very popular Wildlife Day at the Pond in May

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Being interviewed (in the reeds) by Eagle Radio

Woodpecker June 2014

 Bird ringing – a magnificent Green Woodpecker

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 Navigating the World Wide Web (Fleet Carnival)

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Jim Storey, one of our Committee Members!

2014-09-05 Dimension 1

Dimension Data helping out at the Pond, as they have done for several years – it’s really appreciated!

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 The enthusiastic team from SSE

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Mud no object…volunteers can de a dedicated lot!

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 Beavers having a great time at the Pond (September)

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Appreciating the info and panorama at the Lions’ View

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Ranger Rachel doing some serious reed cutting!

Video of sunrise at Fleet Pond (wildlife appears after one minute)


Hart Hits The High Spot Once Again

December 21, 2014

_79860873_c9ca5f08-6b2a-44cd-bc97-8b43b9d57661Hart boasts the county’s largest freshwater lake – Fleet Pond

From the BBC News (England) site, yesterday:

The most desirable place to live in the UK has been named as Hart in Hampshire.

The district’s residents were found to be the healthiest and live the longest, with a high employment rate.

Surrey’s Elmbridge and Winchester in Hampshire came second and third on the annual Halifax quality of life survey’s top 50 list.

It was dominated by areas in south east England, and Hambleton, Yorkshire, was the only place in northern England to make the list at number 50.

The survey looked at factors including life expectancy, crime rates, education and weather.

It is the fourth year in a row that Hart has topped the list.

Hart, which is centred on the town of Fleet, boasts vast open spaces of heathland and woodland, as well as the county’s largest freshwater lake.

More than 97% of residents report being in good health, and the average weekly wage is £839 – one third more than the UK average of £629.

Employment rate is also high, with four out of five 16 to 64 year olds in work.

Life expectancy in Hart is the joint highest in the UK along with South Cambridgeshire, with the male population typically living to the age of 83.

However, Hart residents pay a premium to live there as the average house price is nearly seven-and-a-half times the typical local annual income.

The report, which is the ninth Halifax has produced, uses statistics from various sources including the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Met Office.

Great that they had a picture of Fleet Pond (above) at the top of the article 🙂

For relaxation and well-being, why not take a walk around the Pond over the festive period?


Season’s Greetings To All Our Readers

December 18, 2014

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David Pottinger writes:

Many thanks for the interest you’ve shown in Fleet Pond Blog this year. We’ve been fortunate in having had over 130,000 visits since it started in July 2008!

We’ve lots of ideas for posts for 2015 that we hope you’ll find interesting, so please stay tuned. Also, if you have any requests for topics, we’d be very happy to hear from you…

Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Volunteer Event This Sunday, 14 December

December 11, 2014

David Pottinger writes:

There will be a volunteer event this Sunday, 14 December at Fleet Pond.

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 local 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

The next Sunday volunteer event will be in January 2015.

The tasks are supervised by Rachel Jones of Hart Countryside Rangers together with members of Fleet Pond Society (FPS).

For this task, Colin Gray, FPS Chairman, writes:

“The task for Sunday will be a big burn-up at the Dry Heath near the reserve car park. We have a lot of cut material to dispose of so, weather permitting, baked potatoes are on the menu (see also picture below). Some vegetation cutting will be included of intrusive birch on the heath.

You will need strong waterproof boots as the soil is still muddy from all the rain but wellies should not be essential. If you need a cold drink, please bring that with you as we only supply a warm drink at mid-morning.

It is not obligatory, but should you wish to bring some festive food with you I am sure we could make good use of it as this is our last session before Christmas.”

Out of interest, here are some pictures from previous December meetings.

Two from last year:

2013-12-08_Time for Coffee and Cake

Coffee time

2013-12-08_The Firemen

Firemen at work!

and two from 2010

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Baking potatoes 🙂

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Sharing the festive cheer!


Photography At The Pond – Competition Deadline 5 January 2015

December 5, 2014

David Pottinger writes:

The Christmas season is fast approaching and doubtless some of us will be receiving cameras (or smartphones) as presents. I’m sure you’ll also be keen to try them out! This being the case, why not have a go at entering the current Photographic Competition organised by Fleet Pond Society?

The details are as below and the deadline is 5 January 2015. You can of course enter photos that you have taken previously at the Pond and which fit the theme of “Fleeting Moments”.

FPS Photo Comp 2014 b

Please note that the competition is free to enter and is open to everyone.

If you’d like to see previous winning entries take a look here and, under Pictures, also the results from previous years.

There’s also an attractive slideshow of last year’s winning entries on the GetHampshire site.

FPS 2013 - Liza Toth

The overall winner of the 2013 FPS Photographic Competition by Liza Toth

For some general photographic inspiration, please also take a look at the winners of the recent photography competition organised by the local Estate Agent’s Mackenzie Smith.

A free calendar based on the winning entries is being produced and covers the attractive North Hampshire area. Interestingly the entry for July was taken by Chris Straker and features Fleet Pond (see below).

Best of luck!

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Fleet Pond by Chris Straker (from the Mackenzie Smith Competition)