North Pond Update by Barry Jerome
BW Parish Magazine - December 2011Good progress is being made on the Autumn workplan, a Pond Plan leaflet for every BW household, some exciting news to be announced at the Public Meeting
Volunteer workforce is making great progress
The autumn programme of work parties started on 24th September, postponed from 17th Sept due to forecast heavy rain and winds. We made some fantastic progress, clearing nearly 45m of the channel just on the first session. Since then we have had a work party each Saturday morning and have continued to make terrific progress.
The work priorities are:
1. Clear the overgrown channel. Initially north of the footbridge, up to the fences
of the houses on St. Bonnet Drive, and then continue down to the sluice by the
2. Dig a pilot hole in the silt at the end of the pond near the sluice, to gather information
for the proposal to remove silt from this end of the pond
3. Trim the trees to open up the viewing area from the lay-by so that views are possible
to the Palace ruins
4. Trim back regrowth from last year
The focus so far has been on clearing the channel. For the first few work parties nothing much was visible to the general public. Once we reached the footbridge, suddenly our hard work could be seen and there has been a lot of good feedback.
Thank you to everyone who has made it to one or more of the work parties. We have some regulars, whom we are especially grateful to, who have been to nearly all of them. We are hoping to get as many volunteers as possible to each work party so that we can keep the momentum going. If you can make it to any of the Saturday mornings we would love to see you. The volunteers include a range of ages, including some who are volunteering as part of their Duke of Edinburgh award.
The work parties are a morning session starting at 10am for 2 to 2.5 hours. We have found that this is an optimum amount of time. We meet at the footbridge. If you are able to bring any
tools it will be good, we do have some spares. The type of tools to bring are bow saw, loppers, heavy duty pruners, brush hook or bill hook, sickle (for brambles). When attending a work party please wear gloves to protect your hands, suitable old clothes and stout shoes or boots.
It is a good way of keeping fit and burning off a few calories as well as catching up on local gossip. There was a (tongue-in-cheek) comment one week that the noise of the chain saw was hindering the gossip. We ask you to fill in a membership form the first time you attend. Membership is free, but we need this to ensure you are covered by our insurance. Also, by having your contact details, we send out a weekly news sheet on plans for the next work party. We have been lucky with the weather so far, but may need to cancel a session if the forecast is for heavy rain. With three bonfires going it provides some heat if the weather is chilly - although the exercise will probably keep you warm.
Leaflet with information about our plans delivered to every BW household
By the time you read this you should have received a leaflet, if you live in Bishops Waltham, describing the proposed plans for the restoration of the North Pond. We have also posted copies to those members who live outside of the parish. We designed the leaflet, with input from the Environment Agency and Portsmouth Water. We are grateful to Portsmouth Water who printed 3000 copies for us and to the Parish Council who sponsored the delivery within the Parish.
Information Boards being sponsored by Portsmouth Water
We have also designed an information board, based on the information in the leaflet. Portsmouth Water are sponsoring two Information Boards. They are printing the information and supplying the display boards. These are heavy duty boards which should survive the elements.
Exciting news to be announced at the public meeting
The public meeting is on Tuesday 29th November, so it may have happened by the time you read this. We have made a significant step forward in the last few weeks and this is being announced at the Public Meeting. If you missed it look out for further information in our communications and on our web site.
Website has the latest information
More details of what is planned and the latest news are on our web site at:
The details are on the home page and in the News and Work Party sections
Photos from recent workparties:
Most of the work parties to date in the Autumn 2011 work plan have concentrated on clearing the channel
Before we started:
Volunteers in action: