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BW Parish Magazine - August/September 2011

NORTH POND UPDATE

On 19th May the North Pond Conservation Group held another well attended and successful public meeting in the Jubilee Hall. Alan Inder and Barry Jerome gave presentations on the progress with the implementation of the Restoration Plan, in particular the lagoon‘, viewing areas and information boards. The Group‘s Treasurer, John Moore, presented the finances, reporting some welcome donations from community groups and individuals. However, it was disappointing that the approaches to local businesses had been unsuccessful. There was an interesting discussion about the unusually early disappearance of water from the Pond, early in May, which the Environment Agency representative attributed to the exceptionally dry March and April this year.

In the circumstances it was therefore ironic that the Ponds Event on 18th June was badly affected by the cold and rainy weather, resulting in a poor attendance. Thanks are due to Jane Gentry for organising the event, to Richard Osmond for providing his Hi-Tek Wild-Trek facility, and to the representatives of the Bishop‘s Waltham Parish Fishing Club, Bishop‘s Waltham Museum Trust, County Council‘s Countryside Service, Portsmouth Water Company, and Hampshire Wildlife Trust for providing their stalls and manning them in such poor conditions.

Discussions have been taking place with Portsmouth Water Company, who are providing financial and other assistance in producing information boards, which we hope will be in place by early August.

The lagoon‘ proposal is proving more difficult — this involves the excavation to a maximum depth of 2 metres part of the North Pond immediately north of the B2177, to retain water for longer than the rest of North Pond when it dries out. There are problems obtaining the necessary consents. It is proposed that a trial hole be dug to test groundwater levels, when levels are likely to be at their lowest, in August.

There have been no working party sessions over the summer, in order to avoid disturbing nesting birds, but they will be resumed in late August/early September. The main tasks will involve removing more trees from the Pond bed, especially to open up the view across the Pond from the viewing area next to the B3035, and along the channel along the eastern edge of the Pond.

If you would like to obtain further information about the North Pond Conservation Group, or to join the pool of working party volunteers, make a donation, or help in any other way, please use the Group‘s website: www.bwnpcg.org.uk Alternatively, contact me on 01489 894051.

Alan Inder, Chairman, North Pond Conservation Group.