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BW Parish Magazine - April 2011

NORTH POND

As I write this in early March, the seemingly endless gloomy weather of the first two months has gone and we are able to enjoy the newly opened up views across the Pond in Spring sunshine, and watch the ducks and coots busily preparing for the breeding season. Behind the scenes further improvements are being planned.

As mentioned in the February Parish News, the North Pond Conservation Group has been formed as a kind of community association, with the aim of achieving the long term restoration and conservation of the Pond. The Group is negotiating a lease with the main landowner, Dukes Holdings. The lease will enable the Group to undertake restoration works and future management, and it will help to obtain sponsorship and grants.

The Group faces a lot of expenditure over the coming months, and has been much encouraged by the donations that have been given, in particular £500 from the Parish Council, and £50 from St Peter‘s Ladies Group. We have spent some money on getting insurance, first aid kits and an accident record book for the working party sessions. Further donations will be gratefully received!

Working party sessions were resumed in March, to clear the viewing area by the layby in Corhampton Road, although the views from there will not be completely opened up until later in the year when more trees can be removed from the Pond bed. Eric and Barry have installed a measuring gauge (supplied by the Environment Agency) near the sluice so that we can monitor the water level.

The dreaded highly invasive Japanese Knotweed around the fringes of the Pond will have to be tackled by specialist contractors, with help from Winchester City Council.

In order to communicate what we have been doing and what we are planning to do, we are regularly updating our website (see below), and are intending to produce a basic information leaflet and some on-site information panels, with help from Portsmouth Water Company. The Company is also helping us with drawing up the proposals for the lagoon‘ and taking the proposals through the daunting process of carrying out impact assessments and seeking permissions and consents.

Dates for your Diary
We are planning another public meeting in the Jubilee Hall. It will be on Thursday 19th May, starting at 7.30pm, and will look at what‘s been done since the last meeting in November and at what‘s planned for the summer and autumn. Although the Group is run by a Committee, membership of the Group is open to all individuals or companies who have an interest in the conservation of the North Pond. There is no charge for membership, and we are keen to recruit as many members as possible to demonstrate the strength and breadth of support for what we are doing. We will be inviting people to join at the May meeting. A Ponds Open Day is to be held on Saturday 18th June, featuring both North and South Ponds. One of the attractions will be Richard Osmond‘s Hi Tech Wild Trek which will display via a microscope to a TV screen some of the ”mini bugs and beasts• found in pond water — a must for children of all ages! We are also organising a guided walk. More details will be given in the next issues of the Parish News.

If you would like more information, please go to our website: www.bwnpcg.org.uk or contact me direct.

Alan Inder

Chairman, North Pond Conservation Group
01489 894051