The 28th April 2016 marked the 40th anniversary of the Fleet Pond Society.
The Society celebrated with a very enjoyable dinner at El Castello and a successful photographic display in the Hart Shopping Centre. These photos and newspaper cuttings allowed many of our longer-term Fleet residents to walk down memory lane and it brought the Society and the Pond to the attention of newer residents.
Visit our blog and facebook pages for articles and photographs relating to the past 40 years of work around Fleet Pond.
Fleet Pond Wildlife Day – Sunday 5th June between 11am and 3pm
The sun shone down on the Wildlife Day and the crowds came out. It was a really wonderful day, with plenty of wildlife related stalls to keep families busy for the day. The new pond-dipping platform at Hemelite Bay was opened officially by Holly Reeves, the Environment Management Assistant for TAG Farnborough Airport (Colin and Holly pictured below). It was immediately in use by lots of children, who really enjoyed dipping in and finding all sorts of interesting wildlife.
The dipping platform was constructed by ‘The Last of the Summer Wine’ team of regular volunteers at the Pond. They did a fantastic job on a task which was not always easy, and often very wet and muddy. It was dedicated to celebrate 40 years of Volunteering at Fleet Pond, and paid for by a grant organised through the Rushmoor Environment Fund, from the Farnborough Airport Community Environment Fund.
Visit our blog for some interesting articles relating to the Pond.
The final Conservation of this season will be on Sunday, 12th June. As usual our volunteers will assemble at the Countryside Workshop, Old Pump House Close, Fleet, GU51 3DA at 9.00 a.m. If you wish to join a task you will need to book your place with the Countryside Ranger and further details can be found at Conservation Tasks page. Nick Macfarlane is now the ranger with special interest in Fleet Pond.
The Society Photographic Competition for 2016 has already been announced. The theme is ‘Seasons’. The early announcement is to give everyone a good chance to take photographs throughout every season of the year. Look on our Photographs page for all the entry details.
You might not be surprised to hear that I was again voted as Chairman for 2016/17. This will therefore be my 17th year in this role, far too long in my estimation, but I will do my best to continue to serve the Society and the Pond. We would very much like to see a few new faces on the committee. Anyone who would like to consider joining us would be welcome to come to one of our committee meetings to meet the committee and see if you can help. This is more important now we have said thank you and goodbye to two retiring members, Sue Tilley and David Buckler. Sue is very busy with her other community involvement and David is seeking more involvement in wildlife work and studies. I am extremely grateful for the help and support they have given the Society.
Fleet Pond Society, in cooperation with Hart Countryside Service and John s Associates Ltd., applied to Thames Water for funds to construct a new settlement pond to the rear of the Avondale Road Pumping Station. The objective is to arrest any sewage escape from the Pumping Station before it can enter Brookly Stream and be carried into Fleet Pond. The new pond will be isolated from the four small ponds in Brookly Wood to ensure no sewage escape reaches these ponds or the gardens of Avondale Road or Chestnut Grove. Thames Water will remove any sewage in the pond should an escape occur. The small Brookly Wood ponds will drain into the new Brookly Pond constructed last year via a pipe which will be laid under the footpath. The application was successful and work has started.
About the Fleet Pond Society
Fleet Pond Society (FPS) is the voluntary group that exists to protect and manage Fleet Pond Nature Reserve. From our birth on 28th April 1976 up to the formation of the Hart Countryside Service in 1994, virtually all management was by volunteers under FPS guidance.
Our readiness to seek advice and expert guidance on the conservation management of a Site of Special Scientific Interest earned us the respect of Natural England, the controlling body for important wildlife sites. Today we work in a close and positive relationship with the Hart District Council Countryside Rangers to ensure best use is made of the voluntary resources FPS can provide.
Our volunteers work to maintain the diversity of wildlife habitat at the Reserve. This includes keeping the open heath and marsh areas free of invasive species; clearing footpaths of overhanging vegetation; repairing fences and strengthening the banks of streams against erosion.
Some of our donation and sponsorship funds have provided new facilities for the public, including a pond dipping platform, bench seats along footpaths and the popular viewing area, ‘Lions’ View’, on the eastern side of the Pond.
The Society relies for its income on a healthy membership that supports it through an annual subscription. Local people and organisations have made donations recognising the value of Fleet Pond as a safe haven for wildlife and a valuable community amenity for visitors from Fleet and the adjacent towns.
FPS has also benefited from money raised through sponsored walks and cycle rides. Fleet Carnival Committee, Fleet Morning Townswomen’s Guild, Neale Turk LLP and Fleet Lions Club are some recent examples of organisations sponsoring specific projects.
To learn how you can help Fleet Pond Society go to the following pages: