A Big Thank You To All Our Readers

January 21, 2016

Air Ambulance at Sandy Bay

A picture from the first blog post on July 23, 2008 – an air ambulance at Sandy Bay!

David Pottinger (Blog Editor) writes:

To our readers, we’re really grateful for the interest you have shown in this local blog over the last 7 years, and we’re delighted that we’ve now had over 150,000 views!

In addition, many thanks for all the invaluable contributions, both text and photos, over this period from a wide variety of people. However special mention should be made for Colin Gray, FPS Chairman, who has provided some quite fascinating information and stories on the Pond.

If anyone would like to see articles on special subjects (relevant to Fleet Pond) or would perhaps like to submit an article, please do not hesitate to contact me (details here).


New Bridge At Guildford Road

January 18, 2016

2016-01-15 Team at Bridge s

Some of the volunteers that upgraded the Guildford Road bridge

David Pottinger writes:

A team of Fleet Pond Society (FPS) volunteers, lead by Terry Austin, has recently significantly upgraded the bridge at the end of Guildford Road (see pictures below). This involved demolishing the existing one (that was showing it’s age and had no side rails) and inserting a brand new one. It took about a day and a half of effort, including sawing, digging, placing a heavy metal base and making sure everything was level and firm.

Guildford Rd Bridge 2016

The freshly completed bridge

This refurbishment is a good example of the sort of task that FPS carry out at the Pond for the benefit of the local community.

The photos below show the entrance to the bridge (on the rhs) from the road as well as some early users!

Steetview Guildford Rd Bridge

The bridge is at the bottom of the road on the rhs

2016-01-13 Guildford Rd Bridge 1s

A dog walker about to start a walk around the Pond

2016-01-13 Guildford Rd Bridge 2s

Two local Nordic walkers about to set off

FPS carry out this type of work via donations and membership subscriptions (volunteer time is given for free of course but materials need to be bought).

If you would like to support us in our activities, please see Donations or FPS Membership. Alternatively if you would like to volunteer your time and skills, please contact the FPS Chairman Colin Gray.

Top photo courtesy of Geoff Dee, road view taken from Google Street View.

Volunteer Event This Sunday, 10 January

January 6, 2016

There will be a volunteer event at Fleet Pond this coming Sunday and all are welcome to attend (see below for registering).

Colin Gray, Chairman of Fleet Pond Society, writes:

“Happy New Year to all our intrepid volunteers!

The task for the 10th January will be up on the Dry Heath, near the reserve car park. We will be removing birch saplings and thinning and/or coppicing selected gorse shrubs.

No fire this time. Everything is very wet anyway, but it is never safe to make fires on heathland as the heat can get into the peat layer and spread underground.

The soil will be wet, so wellies or waterproof boots recommended. Gorse is very prickly stuff so ensure you bring, or borrow from us, some protective gloves and wear “prickle-proof” clothing.

Hope to see you all there.”

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 Sunday volunteer tasks are supervised by a Hart Countryside Ranger together with members of Fleet Pond Society.

Details of the programme from September 2015 to March 2016 can be found below.

Fleet Volunteer Poster 201516 FINAL

A Pictorial Review Of 2015

January 3, 2016

Cormorants 2 small

Cormorants at Fleet Pond (photo courtesy of Barry Perfect)

David Pottinger writes:

Here’s my selection of photos that were published on this blog during 2015. They are mostly in chronological order, January to December.

They illustrate some of the many ways in which Fleet Pond Society (FPS) benefits and interacts with the local community and, as you can see, a lot more goes on than you might imagine! If you’d like more details of any of the activities, you can track down the original articles via the blog search box on the top rhs.


An impressive panoramic view of Fleet Pond (by Dineshraj Goomany)

If you’d like to support FPS, 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 the 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 2015 is fast approaching – Friday 8 January 2016. You can find the details here. Best of luck!

2014-12-31 Co-op 1

The Co-op Shop in Kings Road raised £550 for FPS’s Clearwater Project

Volunteer of the Year Award 2015

The FPS Volunteer of the Year for 2014 was Hart Ranger Rachel Jones

FPS Photo Comp Winners 2014

The impressive results of the FPS Photographic Competition for 2014

FPS Photo Comp 2014 Terry Austin

The Competition and Rosebowl Winner by Terry Austin (see also preceding picture)

2015-02-08 Sunday Vols 2s

Cathy Holden (FPS Press Officer) with Colin Gray (FPS Chairman) at one of the popular Sunday Volunteer Events


Members of Mackenzie Smith participated in the Fleet Half-Marathon on behalf of FPS raising £542

beavers image2

Young ‘Beavers’ enjoying Fleet Pond


The popular FPS stand at the Fleet Pond Wildlife Day in May

grays bridge dee 5

Bridge building by FPS volunteers – complicated stuff!

2015-05-20_grays bridge 2s

The final product – The Golden Gray Bridge

Carnival Drinks 2015

The participating FPS team at Fleet Carnival (1st Place, Best Walking Float)

Terry and Colin Leaders 2015

Raising money, by fair means or fowl…

RE Bridge 1885

A fascinating old photo of a (military) bridge at Fleet Pond acquired by FPS

2015-07-10_Ringing 01

Bird ringing on an island at the Pond

FPS Web Site 2015

An attractive new website for FPS – take a look here

Fish at the Flash 2s

A surfeit of fish!


Trekking for FPS in Cambodia and raising £596

Hart Best Place To Live Once Again

January 2, 2016

From Get Hampshire (ed. my emphasis in bold):

“Hart district has retained its the title of the best place to live in the UK for the fifth year in a row.

The Halifax Quality of Life Survey placed Hart in the top spot based on its high performance in a wide range of measures including: residents’ health and life expectancy, overall well-being, employment, low crime rate, relatively good weather and good broadband Internet access.

Councillor Stephen Parker, leader of Hart District Council, said: “We are all delighted to receive this title for the fifth consecutive year. It is a real dividend on the investment of time and effort in our green flag open spaces and £1.2m for the fleet pond restoration project, the vibrant local economy and the continued focus on health and wellbeing in the district ….

The environment, economy and community remains right at the heart of our priorities, goals and promises as a council.”