April 15, 2019
Fleet Pond is currently enjoying a spell of clarity thanks to the clear water creatures shown in this film.
The Pond’s water often appears cloudy. There are two main reasons for this: the quantity of fine silt transported by the two inflow streams and the number of algae in the lake. At present (April 2019), the water looks clear. Water quality of the inflow streams is currently satisfactory, but also the quantity of phytoplankton (algae) in the water column is low. This is because it’s grazed by a bloom of zooplankton. Zooplankton is made up of many types of microscopic animals; the largest and most obvious are the cladocerans, tiny crustaceans sometimes referred to as water fleas.
The relationship between phytoplankton and zooplankton is dynamic – populations of both will bloom and crash during the year depending on environmental and climatic factors.
Fleet Pond Society’s long-term aim is to replace the constantly changing algal population with a more stable community of rooted aquatic plants.
April 6, 2019
The Friday morning volunteers, nicknamed the Last of the Summer Wine team, undertake a range of conservation and maintenance tasks at the Pond each week.
In this short film, they’re replacing a bridge that crosses a ditch near Brookly Wood. There are a number of small bridges around the Pond that make it easier for the public to explore Fleet Pond Nature Reserve. The team regularly replace or repair these bridges and whenever possible, make the various routes around the Pond more accessible for wheelchair users and those on mobility scooters or pushing young children in buggies.
March 24, 2019
One-third of our ponds have disappeared in recent years. That’s why it’s so vital for us to preserve wetlands that provide valuable habitats for amphibians and reptiles.
This short film shows how the aquatic plants in the marshlands at Fleet Pond offer the shelter and food that tadpoles need to survive.
Take a look at some of our other informative films at Fleet Pond Society’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/c/FleetPondSociety
March 17, 2019
Congratulations to Susanne Leyh, whose photograph won the 2018 Fleet Pond Society Photographic Competition.
The theme was ‘It’s the little things…’ Susanne’s innovative photo won the main competition and the ‘People’s Choice’ vote.
March 17, 2019
Bluebell shoots are starting to appear on the banks of the Sandhills area of the Pond. By clearing the dead bracken that covers them, we can encourage their growth. As a result, we should have a dazzling display of bluebells this spring.
Our usual volunteers were joined by an enthusiastic and hard working team from Fleet Mortgages – you can see us in action in this short video, which can be found on Fleet Pond Society’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/c/FleetPondSociety
March 9, 2019
This short video of Southampton University Conservation Volunteers shows what this hardworking team did when they spent a weekend at Fleet Pond.
We’re grateful to them for their time. By clearing the islands of invasive scrub, we can help more valuable plants grow.
February 23, 2019
Improving our islands – this short video shows how we’ve recently started to get to grips with a longstanding issue at Fleet Pond.
Many of the 21 islands created by the lake restoration project, which commenced in 2012, have developed vegetation.
However, some of the islands have remained barren in terms of aquatic plants, due to grazing by geese and the soft, mobile silt bed.
Working in collaboration with Hart Countryside Service, our plan is to use bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliate) to form a buffer zone within the islands and create conditions conducive to colonisation by other aquatic plants once prolific at Fleet Pond.
Bogbean in flower
Bogbean is a robust native plant that forms floating mats. It was originally introduced to Fleet Pond to protect the margins of reedbeds from overgrazing by Canada geese. It’s done a great job, and the once declining reedbeds are now in a much better condition.
We’re transferring bogbean from areas such as Hemelite Bay, where it’s abundant, to islands on the north east corner of the lake. The trials will be monitored, and progress reported.
Bogbean provides habitats for a range of aquatic invertebrates, including dragonflies whose larvae use the stems to climb out of the water.
We’ve set up a Fleet Pond Society channel on YouTube that features a range of short videos showing the work we do at the Pond.
To subscribe to the channel just search for Fleet Pond Society on YouTube. We can only get a customised URL if we have 100 subscribers. Thank you!