The 28th April 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the Fleet Pond Society.
This is being celebrated with an exhibition of 40 years of Fleet Pond Society in Hart Shopping Centre, Fleet, Thursday 28th to Saturday 30th April. Lots of photos through the ages and activities for children. We look forward to welcoming you there for a chat about the work of the society both now and over the past 40 years.
Visit our blog and facebook pages for articles and photographs relating to the past 40 years of work around Fleet Pond.
Recently, the volunteer team, the Last of the Summer Wine, has removed the jetty at Hemelite Bay and created new dog steps along the Gelvert Stream. A new jetty will be constructed in the future.
At the April conservation task volunteers carried out work in Brookly Wood. They cleared bamboo and holly from the area. The aim is to open the woodland floor to more light for the ground plants and providing an open “corridor” in the trees for the passage of birds and flying invertebrates. As usual our volunteers assembled 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.
Our AGM on 20th February saw the winners of the HDC Chairman’s Award for the Fleet Pond Society ‘Volunteer of the Year 2015’ named. This year the award was presented to brother and sister Pat and Bill McKenzie for their years of quiet work behind the scenes, in support of the Society. Read all about it on our News page.
Vicki Jull was named ‘Photographer of the Year’ for 2015 in the Society photographic competition. Vicki was presented with the Rosebowl at the AGM. Visit our Photographs page to see the full results, and all the photos.
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.
Mandy has successfully completed her walk for our Clearwater Campaign. She managed extremely well given the heat and humidity. There is still time for you to recognise this achievement by sending some sponsorship funds. Please go to Mandy’s Fundraising Page for further details and some pictures of Mandy in her tropical hiking gear. Further photographs can be found in Mandy’s Sponsorship photos under Photographs.
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, so work should start very soon.
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: