Mackenzie Smith Raise Funds For The Pond

April 17, 2015

2015-04-08_Certificate 2From L to R: Colin Gray of FPS with Roxanne Lewington, Tara Skinner and Graham Tufnell of Mackenzie Smith

David Pottinger writes:

In previous posts (eg here), we have mentioned that Roxanne Lewington and Tara Skinner of the Mackenzie Smith Estate Agency had decided to enter the Fleet Half Marathon this year and that they had chosen Fleet Pond Society (FPS) as the receiving charity.

After many hours of gruelling training, we’re happy to say the Roxanne and Tara successfully completed the event on Sunday 22 March. As a result, £471 has been raised by donations (£559 incl. Gift Aid) to support the Clearwater Campaign at the Pond.

In appreciation of all the effort involved, Colin Gray, Cathy Holden and myself visited their Fleet High Street Office recently to meet the runners personally and for Colin, Chairman of FPS, to present a certificate of thanks (please see the photo above).

On the Mackenzie Smith blog, Roxanne writes (see here):

“It was a wonderful event to take part in, I’m so pleased we did it and so pleased we managed to raise more than we had expected. A medal from the event and now this certificate and some chocolates, it definitely has been a rewarding experience!”

Once again, many thanks to Mackenzie Smith for supporting the upkeep of Fleet Pond.


The Mackenzie Smith Photography Competition 2014

May 26, 2014

Mackenzie Smith, the local estate agents, with linked offices in Fleet, Hartley Wintney, Hook, Farnborough and Ash Vale, are running a photography competition:

To celebrate these areas we have decided to hold a photography competition to showcase the diversity and beauty of North Hampshire.  The competition will run right through to November 2014 to give you the opportunity to catch the changing seasons.

Mackenzie Smith Photo Competition

We would like you to capture the changing beauty of the local area, or anything that you think is particularly interesting or would make a good picture in the calendar.

There will be two grand prize winners in the following age categories, under 18’s and 18’s & over, with £250 going to each grand prize winner and Mackenzie Smith then also donating £250 to a charity of the winners choosing.

The twelve best entries will make up our 2015 calendar with the twelve photographers all receiving a free copy.

The deadline for the competition is 1st November 2014.

Full competition details (including Terms and Conditions) can be found on their website – see here.

Why not enter a suitable picture taken at Fleet Pond Nature Reserve?


Fleet Half Marathon Supports Fleet Pond

December 10, 2016

YouTube Video of Fleet Half Marathon 2016 (from MikeSpectrum)

David Pottinger writes:

The famous Brooks Fleet Pre-London Half Marathon will take place on Sunday 19th March 2017, starting at 10:30.

Why not put watching this event into your diary, it’s very impressive and has a great atmosphere!

Full details can be found on their website here, which advertises Fleet Pond Society (FPS) as the nominated local charity for 2017:

New for 2017:
  • Revised course – faster, flatter final 2 miles
  • New local charity – Fleet Pond Society – helping to support the natural environment in Fleet. Run for them and make a difference.
  • Brooks event t-shirt available to buy when you enter the race.
  • Medal, re-useable kitbag and other gift for all finishers.
  • More toilets within the park following runner feedback.
  • New race partner ‘Everyone Active’ the management company of the new Hart Leisure Centre opening March 2017.

 Five runners have already volunteered to run for FPS:

  • Dan Franklin
  • Imogen Sutherland
  • Lauren Saxby
  • Shane England
  • James Wicks

and we all wish them well in their preparations for the demanding event next year.

We also have 5 free places left – why not run for Fleet Pond? If you are interested please drop a line to our Chairman, Colin Gray at or phone 01252 616183.

We will publish further details nearer the time, including relevant charity giving pages.

FPS will be providing several stewards for the race and will also have a gazebo at the finish at Calthorpe Park Race Village. Please call by on the day if you’d like some information on how FPS benefits the local community.

FPS have been involved with this event previously. In 2015, two runners from Mackenzie Smith Estate Agency, Roxanne Lewington and Tara Skinner, raised £559 for the Pond by participating in the Half Marathon, see here and picture below.

2015-04-08_Certificate 2

From L to R: Colin Gray of FPS with Roxanne Lewington, Tara Skinner and Graham Tufnell of Mackenzie Smith

A Pictorial Review Of 2015

January 3, 2016

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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

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Young ‘Beavers’ enjoying Fleet Pond


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

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Bridge building by FPS volunteers – complicated stuff!

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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

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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

FPS and Fleet Half-Marathon

March 13, 2015


A photo from last year’s Fleet Half-Marathon

David Pottinger writes:

In a previous post I mentioned that Roxanne Lewington and Tara Skinner, from the Fleet-based marketing team at Mackenzie Smith, are busily training for the very popular Fleet Half-Marathon. We’re very grateful that all the monies raised for this event will go to Fleet Pond Society’s Clearwater Campaign.

If you’d like to support Roxanne and Tara, and in so doing help fund improvements at Fleet Pond Nature Reserve, please donate on their Virgin Money Giving page here.

You can read more about this on a recent post on the Mackenzie Smith blog, which includes the following comment from Roxanne:

“I haven’t entered into anything like this for a while, years in fact. The last big physical challenge I can remember is climbing Mt Toubkal in Morocco back in 2009 which was a completely different experience. It’s been tricky to stick to a training regimen but I’m making progress. On the day the energy is going to feel very different to running on my own, with the streets lined at start and finish and with those running around me as examples to spur me on I’m determined to finish the 12 miles.”

Everyone at FPS wishes them both the very best on the day!

Full details of the Fleet Half-Marathon on Sunday 22 March can be found here. Why not come along and cheer the participants on – it’s a really good event!

A Half Marathon For The Pond

February 20, 2015

2014-03-16_Half Marathon 01

Runners at the 2014 Fleet Half Marathon

David Pottinger writes:

Some months ago I mentioned the Photography Competition organised by the Mackenzie Smith Estate Agency. It focused on scenes from the North Hampshire region and the winning entries were presented as a calendar for 2015. It was great to find that the picture for July was one of Fleet Pond (see below).

The calendar entry for July, Fleet Pond by Chris Straker

Following on from this, two members of the Mackenzie Smith marketing team, Roxanne Lewington and Tara Skinner, have bravely decided to run in the 2015 Fleet Half Marathon with all financial donations going to the Clearwater Campaign for Fleet Pond.

Roxanne comments (see here):

I have never run a half marathon before and am quite daunted. Having signed up just 8 weeks before the event and with no pre-existing exercise regime the training has been a bit of a shock to the system, but I’m determined to finish it, even if it does mean training after a long day at work.

The event will take place on Sunday 22 March 2015.

If you’d like to support Roxanne and Tara, and in so doing help fund improvements at Fleet Pond Nature Reserve, please consider donating on their Virgin Money Giving page here. So far, over £120 has been pledged!

The visionary Clearwater Campaign was initiated by Fleet Pond Society (FPS) and you can read all about it on the FPS website here:

It is a campaign to restore Fleet Pond Nature Reserve to a healthier and more valuable amenity for wildlife and people.

The campaign will be a partnership between Fleet Pond Society, Hart District Council, Natural England, the Environment Agency and other interested parties. Its purpose is to try and raise enough money to fund a major restoration of the Pond. The restoration programme would include projects of benefit to local people and visitors, by providing additional seating areas, a variety of new information boards, improved footpaths and bridges, and the installation of new fishing jetties.

There’s also a useful video (from 2010) featuring Chris Packham, who is the Patron of Fleet Pond Society, that explains the original motivation for the campaign:

Incidentally, the Fleet Half Marathon has an interesting background and is well worth watching on the day, both for the range and numbers of runners (including some ‘characters’, eg see below) and for the excellent friendly atmosphere.

2014-03-16_Half Marathon 02

Late for the office!

Details of the event, including the route and timings, can be found here, from which:

Sunday 4th April 1982 saw a new experience greet the town of Fleet. In the midst of the 80’s running boom Fleet & Crookham Athletic Club, sponsored by the Star Newspaper and with assistance from local businesses, launched the first of many successful half marathons. Chris Brasher (founder of the London Marathon) gave permission for the event to be titled “The Pre-London”…

Entries rose to 5,000 a year with a regular 3,000 completing the course. For many years the race was closed for entries by Christmas, such being its popularity. We now accept just 3,500 runners due to the restrictions of the course. The race still reaches its entries target with it normally being full well before Christmas despite competition from other major half marathons on the same day/same month.

Celebrities and TV/film personalities are regular visitors. Elite athletes gracing the event have included Steve Jones (former marathon world record holder), with internationals Steve Brace, Garry Staines, Bernie Ford, Marion Sutton, Ann Ford, Paula Fudge. Club and local athletes continue to use the race as a warm up for the London Marathon as well as for a personal best opportunity in its own right.

We all wish Roxanne and Tara the very best in their training and for a great result on the day!

Photo credits: top and bottom, David Pottinger.

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!


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

Local Photography Competitions And Fleet Pond

September 18, 2014

FPS 2013 - Liza Toth

Liza Toth’s winning entry for the 2013 FPS Competition

David Pottinger writes:

Here’s a reminder that Fleet Pond Society’s Photographic Competition for 2014 was launched in July and has a deadline of 5th January 2015. The theme for this year is ‘Fleeting Moments’.

The overall winning photo for the 2013 competition (with theme ‘Woods, Water & Wildlife’) was awarded to Liza Toth and is displayed above. A full set of winners for 2013 can be found here and, under Pictures, the results from previous years.

Why not give this year’s FPS competition a go?

Please note that there are two other local photographic competitions currently running (with earlier deadlines) where pictures of Fleet Pond would also be eligible:

Whichever ones you enter, we wish you the very best of luck!