Flower Spotting At The Pond

March 30, 2017

Cuckoo flower by the Flash

Previously we’ve posted articles that feature some of the wildflowers that can be seen at Fleet Pond during the spring and summer months. Why not keep an eye out for them when you next take a walk around the Pond? There are more that you might realise!

Rowan berries in woodland

Here’s a listing of the articles:

March: Lesser Celandine and the Brookly Stream

April: Marsh Marigold, Cuckoo Flower, Dog-violet & Forget-me-not

May: Bogbean, Garlic Mustard and Skunk Cabbage

June: Yellow Flag Iris, Honeysuckle and Yellow Water-lily

July: Heather, Lichen, Meadowsweet and Yellow Loosestrife

August: Berries, Rosebay Willowherb and Purple Loosestrife

You might also want to take a look at the Species Explorer provided by The Wildlife Trusts.

Bogbean flowers at Hemelite Bay

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FPS Photographic Competition Results for 2016

March 26, 2017

A poster of the winning photographs for the 2016 FPS competition

The results of the 2016 FPS Photographic Competition were announced at the FPS AGM held in February. The theme for 2016 (‘Seasons’) captured people’s imagination and there was an impressive number of entries.

Our judge, Kevin Whibley of ‘Captured Moment’ photographic studio in Fleet was extremely thorough in making his selection. He stated that: ‘ Just as every person who takes a photograph sees something different in a scene, every judge looks for something different in a photograph.’

As well as looking for photographs that reflected the ‘Seasons’ theme, Kevin was looking for sharp focus, well framed pictures with good composition, colour and atmosphere.

He projected all the photographs onto a big screen and narrowed the number down to 41. He then printed these and spread them out on a big table to make his final selection. You can read Kevin’s illuminating comment on each photograph here.

The winning photos from previous competitions can be viewed at the FPS web site (see under the Photography tab).

Also, see the FPS Flickr Group for additional inspiration and interest!

Here’s a larger version of the impressive winning image from Rachel Jones:

 

 


FPS Swans Glide Round The Course

March 24, 2017

James Wicks, Lauren Saxby, Dan Franklin and Immie Sutherland at the 2017 Fleet Half Marathon

We’re glad to announce that the four runners (see above) that took on the challenge of raising funds for Fleet Pond Society by participating in the 2017 Fleet Half Marathon successfully completed the course! Congratulations to them all as well as the many supporters that turned up on the day to cheer them on.

Two FPS swans, Immie and Lauren, gliding round the course (photo from Hampshire News)

You can read more about them and their motivation and preparation for the race here. There’s still time to contribute and all support is greatly appreciated.

The charity sites are:

http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/danielfranklin

http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/laurensaxby

http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/imogensutherland1

http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/jameswicks


FPS Volunteer of the Year 2016 – Michael Thompson

March 23, 2017

michael-t-and-counciller-parker-s

Michael Thompson (right) with Councillor Stephen Parker

Cathy Holden writes:

The Chairman’s Award was set up by Councillor Sharyn Wheale, during her time as Hart Council Chairman in 2009. The aim is to recognise the voluntary contribution made over the preceding year to Fleet Pond or to the Society. The Fleet Pond Society Executive Committee is set the task of choosing a deserving volunteer. The Society always tries to select someone whose work behind the scenes is not clearly visible or has not been fully recognised.

The choice for Volunteer of the Year 2016 is someone who has given the Society dedicated support for several years at both the monthly conservation management tasks and at the regular Friday tasks. He is known as the one man who can start a bonfire in all weathers to dispose of all the cut material from a work session. His dedication extends to staying with a fire until it has been safely extinguished while the other volunteers return tools and equipment to the workshop.

He has donated his annual leave time to help with big construction projects like the Lions View platform on the eastern side of the pond and the pond dipping platforms at The Flash pool and Hemelite Bay. This volunteer has led groups of visiting school and young peoples’ groups for educational visits, including pond dipping, bug hunting and natural world experiences.

Justly deserving recognition as the Volunteer of the Year is Michael Thompson.


Please Support Our Runners At The Half Marathon

March 11, 2017

Five runners, Shane England, Dan Franklin, Lauren Saxby, Immie Sutherland and James Wicks have signed up to raise funds for Fleet Pond Society by completing the Fleet Half Marathon on our behalf.

They would be delighted, and so would we, if you’d like to support them through VirginMoneyGiving or else by giving them, and all the others, a motivating cheer on the day.

You can read more about them and their motivation and preparation for the race here.

The relevant sites are:

http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/danielfranklin

http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/laurensaxby

http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/imogensutherland1

http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/jameswicks

The race takes place on Sunday 19th March 2017 (start 10:30 am).

 


How Popular Is The Pond?

March 10, 2017

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Graph of Footfall Figures at Fleet Pond for 2016 (Click To Enlarge)

Answer: A lot more than you might imagine!

Colin Gray, Chairman of Fleet Pond Society, writes:

“Hart Rangers have provided me with the full year footfall figures for Fleet Pond as recorded at the six monitoring points (see legend on graph above plus map here).

They make interesting reading and there is one oddity and one that bucks the general trend. Most monitor points follow a similar trend over the year, but Coldstream Culvert shows an unusual drop in March, April and June. Boat House track bumbles along as one of the lowest until a sudden increase in September, drops in the next two months and then becomes one of the highest in December.

Picnic entrance is one of the two lowest all year, indicating perhaps that most walkers use the lower track?

What is very clear is the numbers of people using Fleet Pond every month. Back a decade when we had a Farnborough Sixth Form student take a survey over a shorter few months, his figures estimated approximately 4,000 to 5,000 a month in peak months. All but two monitor points show the numbers are now well in excess of that estimate every month.

An  important point to note is that the monitors record every movement past the monitor, so it includes those who walk, jog, run or walk dogs more than once a day or do more than one circuit of the pond. For example a jogger might pass the monitor three or more times in one day. Although these might swell the figures, they do have an impact on the path network, so it makes sense to include them when assessing impact on path maintenance and potential disturbance.

There is no denying just how popular and valuable Fleet Pond is to people and their health.”

You can read the interesting things that visitors say about taking walks around Fleet Pond via TripAdvisor here.


Volunteer Event This Sunday, 12 March

March 8, 2017

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

This time we will back on the Dry Heath by the reserve car park clearing more birch scrub. The birds have started nesting now, so we need to avoid tackling any of the thick gorse shrubs as these make good secure nesting sites.

We meet as usual at the Countryside Workshop, Old Pump House Close, Fleet, GU51 3DN at 9.15 a.m. Please park in Kenilworth Road as parking is very restricted at the workshop. Bring water if you need it but we will have our usual choice of warm beverages mid-morning.

For further information and booking for this event (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, Nick Macfarlane, together with members of Fleet Pond Society.