How Popular Is The Pond?

March 10, 2017

footfall-figures-pond-2016

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.


Get Close to Nature at Fleet Pond

February 13, 2017

FPS Photo Comp 2014 Liza Toth

Fleet Pond gets a mention in a list of “18 Ideas for Free Cultural Dates in Hampshire” (number 10):

Officially recognised as a site of special scientific interest, Fleet Pond is a wonderful location for Hampshire daters who enjoy spotting different species of butterflies, birds and other wildlife. Access is easy with a train station close by, and there’s even a picturesque picnic area for an inexpensive alfresco meal.

Also, take a look at TripAdvisor for some recent reviews.


TripAdvisor and Fleet Pond

August 4, 2016

TripAdvisor-FleetPond-Aug-2016

David Pottinger writes:

There have now been 109 reviews of Fleet Pond on TripAdvisor, 62 of which rate it as excellent!

Take a look here for the full list of comments.

Why not add yours?

For a description of three recommended walks (short, medium and long) that are helpfully identified by colour-coded posts along the way, see here.

If you haven’t been to the Pond before, why not try it out this weekend? I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!


Theft From Vehicles – Fleet Pond

July 1, 2016

Fleet Neighbourhood Policing Team issued this message on 30/06/2016:

Dear Residents,

We have had two reports today (30th June) of separate vehicles being broken into in the car park at Fleet Pond. In one incident, a window has been smashed and glove box searched, and in another the vehicle doors have been opened and a bag taken from the back seat.

Since this occurring Police have patrolled the area this afternoon and found several vehicles with windows down and personal stereos on show, and another with the keys left in the ignition.

Please read our advice below which can help deter and prevent this type of crime occurring:

  • When leaving your vehicle, close all windows and lock your car.
  • Check the vehicle is locked by trying the handles.
  • Park your car in an attended car park.
  • Look for public car parks approved by the Park Mark scheme.
  • When parking at home, use your garage. If you don’t have a garage, park in a well-lit area.
  • Don’t leave anything on display in your vehicle.
  • Take all your personal possessions with you.
  • Remove sat nav holders and visible sat nav ring marks from windscreens.
  • Leave the glove box open to show there’s nothing inside.
  • Fit an alarm or immobiliser to your car.
  • Do not store your car’s documents in the car.
  • Secure your wheels using locking wheel nuts.

If anyone has any information which could assist with our investigations, they are encouraged to call Police on 101, quoting Police reference 44160243474.

Thank you

Fleet Neighbourhood Policing Team

Message sent by
Darren Guy (Police, PCSO, Hart District)


Discover Fleet Pond Nature Reserve

June 17, 2016

Board 3 Station map

Click to enlarge

You can find more information on the different walks you can take around the Pond here.


An Emerging Sea of Blue

April 24, 2016

2016 Bluebells 3 s

David Pottinger writes:

Earlier in the week I decided to see how the bluebells were doing and to take a few ‘progress’ shots. They’re slowly coming out (above) and the general area is becoming a lush green (below). I’ve written about the volunteering that goes with the bluebells here, this article also explains the interesting differences between the native and Spanish varieties.

2016 Bluebells 2 s

If you take a standard walk around the pond you will not come across the bluebell patch. Instead keep a lookout for the large interesting tree in the picture below (in the region of the picnic area) and go up the incline. At the top you’ll soon come across a pleasing sea of blue!

2016 Bluebells 1 s


Walks, Butterflies and Flowers

April 21, 2016

640px-Common_brimstone_butterfly_(Gonepteryx_rhamni)_male_in_flight

The Butterfly for April, the Brimstone (see picture credit below)

David Pottinger writes:

With the arrival of the (slowly) improving weather, many readers will doubtless be taking walks round the Pond.

Whilst doing this, it’s interesting to try to identify any butterflies and wildflowers seen along the way. Fortunately, members of Fleet Pond Society (FPS) have written a fascinating series of articles on these topics that you might find interesting and helpful.

Peter Martin, who is the President of FPS, has written quite a few butterfly posts that have proven to be very popular. Here are two examples:

Butterflies Around The Pond – Have You Seen Any?

Extract:

“Although over 30 different species of butterfly have been recorded at Fleet Pond, some may not be easily seen as they tend to stay in the areas in which they bred.

Westover Road – Speckled Wood: Where the path starts at the end of Westover Road towards Wood Lane there are patches of bramble which, when in flower, provide a good nectar source for the Speckled Wood. This is a butterfly that likes areas dappled with sun and shade and it is most noticeable when settled on bramble with its wings wide open. As it has several generations, it can be seen from March until September.”

Butterflies At The Pond – 2013

Extract (Butterfly Of The Month: April – The Brimstone; see picture at the top):

“The Brimstone butterfly is regarded as the “harbinger of spring”, as the male is so noticeable due to its “brimstone” colouring when it flies strongly after its winter hibernation. Females are a more whitish-green and are, therefore, often mistaken for Large White butterflies.”

In addition, Michelle Salter, who is the Secretary of FPS, has written a wonderfully illustrated series of articles on some of the wildflowers that can be seen around the Pond at different times of the year, see:

Keep An Eye Out For These Attractive Flowers

Marsh Marigold

Marsh Marigold by Hemelite Bay

Here’s an extract (from the post April Wildflower Watch):

“Along the path from Boathouse Corner to Hemelite Bay, you will see the shiny, bright yellow petals of Marsh Marigold bringing bold splashes of colour to the edges of the pond. A member of the buttercup family, this ancient native plant, also known as Kingcups, May-bubbles, and Mollyblobs appears in early spring and is sometimes still in flower late into the summer months. Its sturdy, dark green, heart-shaped leaves offer shelter to frogs and other pond creatures.

Also making an appearance at Hemelite Bay, and on the banks of the smaller pond to the side, is the Cuckoo flower. Commonly known as Lady’s Smock, it has pretty, pink cupped or ‘frocked’ flowers. These pale blooms attract moths and early-flying butterflies such as the Orange-Tip, as well as bees and flies.

Forget-me-not

Forget-me-not on banks of Brookly Stream

Adding colour to the woods and along the banks of the Brookly Stream are masses of tiny Forget-me-nots. The five sky-blue petals of the Forget-me-not fuse at the base to form a very narrow tube and the five yellow scales form a ring at the entrance of this tube. The golden colour in the centre of the flower attracts pollinating insects and is a nectar source for early solitary bees.”

Picture credits:

Common brimstone butterfly (Gonepteryx rhamni) male in flight” by Charlesjsharp – own work, from Sharp Photography.

The wildflower photographs are courtesy of Michelle Salter.