The Countryside Service will be undertaking work this winter to continue to create more favorable conditions for wildlife at Fleet Pond. The team has secured over £100,000 funding from the Rural Payments Agency, in partnership with Natural England, to support these significant improvements.
The work will take place from December with a small compound being set up at Boat House Corner. Due to the remote work locations, minimal disruption is expected to the public. Lake works start in the new year and you maybe more aware of our team during the month of January if walking around the pond, you will see the contractors using the newly-installed boat slipway.
New management techniques will be used, such as the introduction of floating island bio-havens for wetland fowl to avoid disturbance and installing wooden debris reefs for fish and invertebrates to flourish. There will also be clearance of hard-to-reach scrubland areas and the addition of marshland scrapes. The removal of scrub build-up will increase water retention within the marshes, allow some of the site’s reedbeds to reconnect meaning more light will be able to reach the water.
Open pools of water will also be created, benefiting many species such as the little egret, emperor dragonfly, common toad and marsh pennywort. Scrapes will create important areas of bare ground, helping nesting birds.
We will be planting waterlilies and reed plugs to improve the overall diversity and abundance of aquatic plants in the pond and introducing the Bogbean plant to help reduce the effect of geese grazing on the fresh aquatic plant growth. This allows for quicker, more successful plant establishment.
This work programme has been developed along with Fleet Pond Society. FPS will also be carrying out an extensive programme of conservation tasks developed with Hart Countryside Service. This will run right through the Autumn and Winter up to the breeding season in Spring. Volunteers who’d like to help should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org