This page contains news updates of events and activities at Fleet Pond.

Latest Fleet Pond Society News

31 August 2015 : Annual Photo competition announced.

"Nature’s Neighbourhood" is the theme of this year's photo competition.

Entry is open to FPS members and non-members and there is no entry fee.

All entries must be received by 8th January 2016 - Up to 3 photographs per person

All photographs must have been taken at Fleet Pond Nature Reserve (however please note that the taking of photographs using drones or aerial cameras is prohibited)

"PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR" will receive the annually awarded ROSE BOWL donated by Fleet Photographic

All photographs may be used by FPS for any purpose it chooses

Send by email to fleetpondphotocomp@gmail.com

All photographs received will be acknowledged.

Winners will be announced at the FPS AGM on 20th February 2016

31 August 2015 : Another fundraising marathon in aid of Clearwater

In November, Committee member, Mandy Saxby, will be trekking in Cambodia to raise funds for our Clearwater Campaign, walking about 20 kilometres a day for six days through forests, paddy fields and up a small mountain!

You can find out more about the trip and sponsor her here.

30 May 2015 : Fleet Pond Wildlife day 2015

15 April 2015 : Fleet Pond Wildlife day 2015

Check out what went on last year here - this year will be even bigger and better!

24 February 2015 : 2014 Photo Competition Winners

The winners of the 2014 Photo Competition were announced at the AGM.

Congratulations to the winner and highly commendeds and thanks to all those who took part.

Full details to follow.

NOTE : Following concerns raised by a number of people, Fleet Pond Society must emphasise that taking photographs of birds on the nest can only be done under license from BTO (British Trust for Ornithology).
The photographer must hold a license or be supervised by a license holder. The latter was the case for the photo of the Black-backed gull chick which was photographed as part of the bird ringing exercise on the island set aside for nesting gulls and terns.
The chick shown was ringed and returned safely to the nest for the photograph.

24 February 2015 : Chairman of Hart District Council’s Award for Fleet Pond Society’s ‘Volunteer of the Year 2014’

Rachel Jones, has been named as recipient of the Chairman of Hart District Council’s Award for Fleet Pond Society’s ‘Volunteer of the Year 2014’. Rachel is a Hart Countryside Ranger with special responsibility for Fleet Pond and it was the unanimous vote of the Society Committee that Rachel should receive this award for frequently going beyond her regulated duties.

Rachel said: “I was really surprised and shocked! I feel very privileged. It is wonderful that the Society and the Ranger Service work together so well completing valuable work to enhance and protect the Fleet Pond Nature Reserve. I look forward to a long future of this wonderful relationship.”

The award was presented by Councillor Myra Billings, Chairman of Hart District Council, at the Society’s recent AGM. The citation stated:

“The Committee considered a number of names but one stood out above the others. This person is one who makes the monthly volunteer tasks always enjoyable and takes extra care that volunteers are made welcome and that they know how to work safely and effectively. This volunteer can also often be found joining the ad hoc, but often weekly, Last of the Summer Wine volunteer tasks which contribute voluntary labour to specific tasks. These tend to be tasks that could not be done by the wider range of age groups we host at the monthly tasks, as they can take volunteers into more hazardous conditions or involve use of mechanical equipment. Members might think that this volunteer is an unusual choice as she is on the payroll of Hart Countryside Service and has a particular responsibility for Fleet Pond. Her dedication to Fleet Pond, her support for our volunteers and the numerous occasions on which she gives extra voluntary hours to any activity at Fleet Pond we believe qualifies her to receive this award. Her dedication and her infectious sense of humour and fun have made her a much valued member of our team.”

Colin Gray, Chairman of the Fleet Pond Society added: “I am very pleased that Rachel received the unanimous support of the FPS Committee as the chosen nominee for this award. It underlines the very positive, friendly and effective relationship that exists between the Society volunteers and the Hart Countryside Service.”

Photograph credit to Michelle Salter. Pictured are Councillor Myra Billings and Rachel Jones

14 February 2015 : Mackenzie Smith staff to run Fleet Half Marathon for Fleet Pond Society "Clearwater Campaign"

Roxanne Lewington and Tara Skinner, from Mackenzie Smith, are running the Fleet Half Marathon to raise funds for the Fleet Pond Society Clearwater Campaign.

If you'd like to support them, their Blog and sponsor link can be found at http://www.mackenziesmith.co.uk/mackenzie-smith-team-run-fleet-half-marathon/

or you can directly to the sponsor page here.

January 2015: Fleet Pond Society AGM - 21st February 2015

The Annual General Meeting of the Fleet Pond Society will take place at 7.15pm on Saturday 21st February 2015 at SS. Philip & James Church Hall, Kings Road, Fleet.

Please come along to join us. Members and their guests will be welcome. This is your opportunity to put questions to the Executive Committee and share your views on the future of Fleet Pond Local Nature Reserve.

Copies of the Agenda and Minutes can be obtained from: Michelle@FleetPondSociety.co.uk

Presentation of the Hart Council Chairman’s Fleet Pond Volunteer of the Year will start the proceedings.

Members will see a first showing of the new DVD which is an update of the Clearwater Campaign progress and results.

The official business of the AGM will be followed by a short break for refreshments.

The winners of the “Fleeting Moments” Photographic Competition 2014 will be announced after the break. We hope everyone who has entered will come along to see their photographs. All entries will be on display at the meeting.

September 12th 2014 : Task for Sunday 14th September

Task for this coming Sunday is further clearance of scrub and saplings from N E Marsh. Access by the gate in the stock fencing close to Boathouse Corner.

Waterproof boots recommended. There might be some soggy, muddy areas but with little rain recently wellies will probably not be needed.

As for last season please let Rachel know if you plan to join us to start the new season with a large bonfire. countryside@hart.gov.uk

Assemble at the Countryside Workshop at 9.15 a.m. please.

September 12th 2014 : New Benches at Boathouse Corner

The "Last of the Summer Wine" team were busy today, putting two new benches in place at Boathouse Corner.

They are now ready for you to enjoy the view at your leisure.

August 31st 2014 : Dimensions Data visit Fleet Pond, 29th August

Four very hard working volunteers from Dimension Data, led by Julie, were helping us remove a large invasion of weeds from Clearwater Island to expose the gravel for next year’s gulls and terns to nest on.

A vast amount of weed was removed and is now in two huge piles to be burned at a later date when dry.

We were impressed at the amount of work they achieved in just 3.5 hours; in fact we had trouble persuading them to stop work and leave the island when Rachel and the LSW volunteers had commitments elsewhere in the afternoon.

I think it was only the threat to leave them there without a boat and come back around 5 p.m. which decide them to leave!

August 11th 2014 : Fleet Pond Society scoop first prize at Fleet Carnival.

Fleet Pond Society's float at the Fleet Carnival this year was themed the "World Wide Web", featuring internet pirates!

The judges obviously liked it as it scooped the Society 1st Prize in the "Walking Float" class (although it was towed, the people walked alongside it).

We even made the Fleet News!

August 11th 2014 : More pictures from our Wildlife Day, 31st May.

A little delayed, but some more photographs of the fun at our Wildlife Day at the end of May.

August 9th 2014 : New Seats along the Gelvert Stream.

One objective of the Fleet Pond Clearwater Campaign was to provide benefits for our visitors; an element of cost not included in the Restoration Programme. 2,800 has been spent on the purchase of seven new, green oak timber seats. Four of these have been installed along the footpath beside the Gelvert Stream and one along the footpath between Guildford Road and Wood Lane.

The remaining two are destined to be installed at Boathouse Corner later in 2014.

The volunteer team known as the Fleet Pond Last of the Summer Wine Volunteers, led by Terry Austin, installed the seats during July 2014. One seat will have a plaque recognising the hard work our volunteers devoted to this task.

We hope our friends, neighbours and visitors will enjoy resting on these new seats.

Colin Gray Chairman FPS

July 22nd 2014: 2014 Photo Competition

Fleet Pond Society is pleased to announce its 2014 Photo Competition is open.

May 31st 2014 : Good Weather for the 2014 Fleet Pond Wildlife Day

The Fleet Pond Wildlife day took place today and good weather drew in the public.

Attractions included craft stalls, Pond Dipping, a chance to see the fish and other aquatic life up close and demonstrations of wood working, both commercial and artistic.

May 25th 2014 : Visit the 2014 Fleet Pond Wildlife Day

The Fleet Pond Wildlife day takes place on 31st May this year.

Download the PDF leaflet, here for more details.

April 18th 2014 : Lions View viewpoint officially opened

Today saw the official opening of the Lions View viewpoint at Fleet Pond.

On the site of the old Floatplane slipway and sponsored by the Fleet Lions, the viewpoint provides a new way to see Fleet Pond in an area which has, until now, had limited access.

The viewpoint was opened by Fleet Lions Chairman, Julian and now provides access for young and less-so to watch the water birds on Fleet Pond from a new perspective.

March 23rd 2014 : Terry Austin honoured by High Sheriff of Hampshire

Fleet Pond Society are thrilled that their Vice Chairman, Terry Austin, has been the recipient of the Hampshire High Sheriff’s Community Award for North East Hampshire. This prestigious award is given to members of the community who deserve special recognition for their community activities.

Terry is a tireless worker for the Pond, responsible for the planning and implementation of several innovations such as the Fleet Pond Clearwater Campaign DVD, Kenilworth Road boat launching platform, the dipping platform at The Flash and the History Board and leaflet amongst a myriad of other projects. He also leads the ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ team of volunteers on a Friday morning; this team, nicknamed because several of them are retired, complete numerous jobs to help keep Fleet Pond and its surrounding Nature Reserve a site of great benefit to the local community.

Terry is pictured with his award, alongside Rupert Younger, High Sheriff of Hampshire, and Claire Lloyd, the Award Panel Chair for North East Hampshire.

The ceremony took place recently in the historic atmosphere of the Great Hall at Winchester, where the winners and their guests enjoyed a champagne reception in the shadow of King Arthur’s round table.

Terry himself is extremely modest about his win and said: “I feel honoured, delighted but also slightly embarrassed as I could not have done the things attributed to me without the ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ team and others.”

The High Sheriff and his team visited Fleet Pond on one of the wettest days in February and Terry gave them a tour and updated them on the Restoration project.

March 23rd 2014 : Chairman of Hart District Council’s Award for Fleet Pond Society’s ‘Volunteer of the Year’

Phill Gower, the recipient of the Chairman of Hart District Council’s Award for Fleet Pond Society’s ‘Volunteer of the Year’ has been a long term supporter of the Fleet Pond Society.

Phill’s work behind the scenes at Fleet Pond, through the generous donation of his time and expertise, has enabled many important projects to come from the drawing board to fruition.

Phill was presented with his Award by Hart District Council Chairman, Stephen Gorys at the Society’s recent AGM.

The Executive Committee of Fleet Pond Society gave a lot of thought to who was the most deserving person to receive this Chairman’s award. The committee wanted to recognise a person who has given most help and support to the Society and whose work has provided the most benefit to the nature reserve and to the many people who enjoy its peace, tranquillity and wildlife experience.

Colin Gray, Chairman of Fleet Pond Society said: ‘Without Phill’s generosity the Society would not be fully equipped with hi-vis jackets for the volunteers, without his technical skills and engineering help visitors would not have had the new bridge at the end of Wood Lane, the pond dipping platform on The Flash and the new viewing area on the eastern side would have still been a dream rather than in its final stages of construction.’

Phill said: ‘I am thrilled to have even been considered for this award, especially considering the dedication and commitment of so many others. Maddy & I are lucky enough to ‘do a lap’ at least weekly if not more, and it is not often that a visit goes by without noticing new conservation work by the volunteer network within the Fleet Pond Society and the work of the Hart Countryside Ranger service. The accumulation of all this effort provides a truly special amenity, accessible to all inhabitants of Fleet and Church Crookham. Whilst feeling rather undeserving of such an award, I feel greatly honoured and thankful to the Society for

Phill’s community contribution does not end with Fleet Pond he also provides voluntary support to Fleet Lions, Fleet and Church Crookham Society and Fleet Town Council.

Colin Gray said: ‘Fleet Pond Society felt it was time this modest man, who has never sought any thanks or reward for his voluntary service, was recognised.’

March 23rd 2014 : Photo Competition Winners

The winners of 2013's Photo Competition were announced at the AGM.

The winner was Liza Toth.

You can see her photograph and those awarded "Highly Commended"s here.

March 5th 2014 : This weekend's Conservation Task

Despite the recent rain, the forecast for the weekend (at the moment) is quite good.

The supplier of hoggin base material for the access track to the new viewing platform has run out of supplies so we have none to work with. Instead it is another bonfire event. There is a lot of cut birch on the Dry Heath to burn and a lot of other storm damage material to gather along the railway embankment path and elsewhere. Together this should make a very good fire and so there could be baked potatoes on the menu again folks!

Meet at the Countryside Workshop at 09.15 or come up to the Dry Heath, near the reserve car park.

As usual please let Rachel know if you intend to join us as we will need to ensure there are enough tools and potatoes for everyone. Inform Rachel at countryside@hart.gov.uk

February 17th 2014 : Guided Walks around Fleet Pond, 2014

Walks 2014 Poster

The Rangers are planning a number of guided walks and other events in the coming months.

You will need to sign up for most of these events in advance as places are limited.

Full details here.

December 27th 2013 : Gelvert Stream Diversion tested by the weather.

A powerful storm and very heavy rain over the night of 23rd / 24th December was a significant test of the diversion channels installed, but not yet fully functional, in the Gelvert Stream at Fleet Pond. The aim of these channels was to divert up to two thirds of silt laden water away from the main stream and into the widened channel of Coldstream Ditch. The extension of the Ditch by a long channel would carry the water along the eastern edge of the marshes complex where the water flow would be slowed, allowing silt to be deposited before it reaches the main pond. Deposited silt could then be removed by land-based machinery, which would avoid the high cost of heavy machinery floated on pontoons to dredge the main pond.

The planned control sluices have not yet been installed but the fact that water can be carried by the new channels was proved to dramatic effect at the northern channel, which was completely full on the morning after the storm. The southern channel did accept a high flow but demonstrated that the gap built in the sluice structure was inadequate; water spilled over the channel bank overwhelming the narrow gap where the sluice would have been installed. The bridge over the Gelvert Stream still presents an obstacle to a free flow of water at high volumes. Water built up against the bridge supports, overflowed onto the adjacent footpaths and covered the bridge platform with about 8cm of water. The new, much wider, culvert of the Coldstream Ditch, where it passes under the footpath, coped very well. There was some overflow into the adjacent woodland and across the footpath at Coldstream Glade but not of significant depth.

At Sandy Bay the new line of islands along the eastern marsh edge (to the right of the Bay) were completely submerged. This is not necessarily a bad thing as eventually we plan to pant these with reeds and reed would not be averse to submersion in water. It does mean that diverting the Gelvert flow into the main pond at Sandy Bay along the rear of these islands would obviously not work at such high water volume input. The shallow channels cut into the reedbed to the west (left side) of the Gelvert at Sandy Bay, called “braiding”, took some of the flow, which would help to filter out some silt before the water reached the main pond.

Fleet fortunately did not suffer the disasters inflicted on other towns in Hampshire, for which we must be grateful. As a test of our silt defence measures at Fleet Pond it was a useful if rather excessive test.

December 17th 2013 : Fleet Pond Society awarded the Helen Deakin Award

The Helen Deakin award, awarded to Fleet Pond in 2013

Fleet Pond Sociey are proud to have been awarded the Helen Deakin Award, in recognition of the contribution FPS has made and is making to the local natural environment, biodiversity and the community.

It was presented to FPS by Jim Storey on behalf of the Lions Club.

September 28th 2013 : Colin's Triple SI Walk for the Clearwater Campaign - Full report

Our Chairman, Colin Gray, completed his Triple SI walk for the Clearwater Campaign on the 22nd September.

His route covered about 21 miles, taking in the Basingstoke Canal (SSSI), Odiham Common (SSSI), Elvetham Heath Nature Reserve, Ancells Farm Nature Reserve (SSSI), Fleet Pond (SSSI), Eelmoor Marsh (SSSI), Rownhill Nature Reserve (SSSI), Ewshot Marsh (SSSI) and Zebon Copse Nature Reserve.


Colin strides out on his walk

The weather was kind and fellow Fleet Pond members joined Colin for different legs of the walk.


Jim and Colin at Rownhill


Vikki and Colin


Mandy joins Colin at The Windmill in Ewshot


Jim, Mandy and Colin break for lunch at Crookham Wharf

Well done to Colin for completing his challenge and thanks to those who kept him company on the walk and have sponsored him so far.


Cheers Colin! Well done!

Remember, it's not to late to visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/colingray3 to sponsor him!


Colin with some well wishers

September 14th 2013 : SSE help out at Fleet Pond

SSE crew team number 2 had a day on Chestnut Grove Reed bed with Ranger Rachel on Friday 13th. Despite the date we did not loose any of them in the marsh.

Many thanks to Michael, Geoff and Mandy for their time and help on the day.

It was a great day even though it rained most of the time, the SSE team were determined to cook their burgers for lunch and against all odds, wet vegetation and rain managed to get a good fire roaring.


We made a nice hole in the encroaching scrub and removed a lot of the reeds to encourage thicker growth for nesting birds in future years. If you are walking the area don't forget to look out at the new view created.
We need to clear more , but a great start!

We look forward to SSE returning for two or hopefully more days next Autumn with more BBQ food :)

If your company would like to help out at Fleet Pond, contact us here

September 9th 2013 : Colin's Triple SI Walk for the Clearwater Campaign - Training report and update

Our Chairmain's Triple SI walk for the Clearwater Campaign is on the 22nd September.

Visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/colingray3 to sponsor him!

Colin's been out training hard for it and posted this recently :

Good evening all

Wednesday’s training was my determination to do the full tour to see how I felt at the end and what I might need to do to survive.

I left home at 0920 and staggered back in at 1820. I tried the Mandy Ewshott Marsh diversion but lost the way and ended up back on Ewshott Lane (don’t ask how) so it was snack lunch at Redfields again! Half an hour there. The Odiham Common/farmland diversion Mandy showed me worked well however.

I had 5 min break at Tundry Pond watching someone in a pickup truck trying to round up sheep; 5 min break at Broad Oak talking to a lady and her granddaughter who had lost their way; 10 min break at Barley Mow (closed); 10 min break at Elvetham Heath Village Pond watching two herons fighting over fishing rights and 5 min break sitting on a silage bale out behind Ancells Farm LNR. 65 min including lunch to deduct from the 9 hours on the road. Those short breaks on the last stretch were of value to rest ankle aching by then.

I was a bit slower paced by the time I set out on the Barley Mow to EH section so might not have achieved 3 mph in the last 2 hours.

Anyway should 22 September have very bad weather at least I can say I have done the full tour!!

Kind regards

Colin

August 23rd 2013 : Get involved!

August 7th 2013 : 2013 Photo Competition launched

The theme of the 2013 Photo Competition is the very broad "Woods, Water & Wildlife", which covers most of what you'll find at Fleet Pond.

Entry is open to FPS members and non-members and there is no entry fee.

All entries must be received by 6th January 2014, and entered by email to the address shown on the poster above.

Get out around the Pond while the sun's shining!

July 9th 2013 : The Pirates of Fleet Pond - 2013 Fleet Carnival

The sun shone and the crowds turned out along the Fleet Road to witness this year’s Carnival with the theme Musicals.

We took the theme The Pirates of Penzance and tweaked it to The Pirates of Fleet Pond. Congratulations to Terry and his crew for building the fabulous Black Swan which won second prize in the motorised float section. The attention to detail was fantastic and the meercat crew enthralled the children along the route. The Pirates of Fleet Pond with their galleon the Black Swan readying themselves to invade Fleet Carnival

The meercat crew on deck keeping watch

One scurvy knave doesn’t do his job and has to walk the plank…..

Carnival jam on Connaught Road

Photographs by Cathy Holden and Louise Greenwood

July 7th 2013 : Fleet Pond Restoration Project Wins Prestigious Award... make that Awards!

Visitors to Fleet Pond over the past year have been witness to the vast amount of work taking place as a result of the Fleet Pond Restoration Project. Now this outstanding work has been recognised by the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) which named the project winner of the ‘Sustainability and Environment Award’ at the ICE South East England Engineering Excellence Awards 2013. Representatives of the project team were delighted to be presented with the trophy at the awards ceremony on 21st June in Southampton.

This Award recognises the excellence of the works carried out by the Fleet Pond Restoration Project Team consisting of the Environment Agency, Fleet Pond Society, Hart District Council, Johns Associates, Natural England and WM Longreach. The works involved dredging the lake and reusing the sediment to create islands to act as wind barriers to stop silt clouding the water. Retaining structures were installed to ensure the silt does not spread back over the pond base and the islands will allow colonisation by native reeds thus creating new habitats.

Cllr Sara Kinnell, Hart District Council portfolio holder for Leisure and Environmental Promotion said: “A great achievement for a well deserving project. I’d like to thank Johns Associates and WM Longreach for making this happen and to the partners for fifteen years of hard work in creating the right environment for success.”

Colin Gray, Chairman of Fleet Pond Society said: “The nominees for this prestigious award presented many high quality and high cost engineering projects. We had some strong competition so to win is a very clear recognition of the achievement by the Project Team. Johns Associates and WM Longreach deserve special praise for the design and construction work.”

Back left to right: Steve Lyons and Louise Greenwood the HDC Countryside Service , Mavis and Colin Gray from the Fleet Pond Society, David Ryan from WM Longreach, Becky Burvill Johns Associates. Front left to right: Adam Green HDC L&EP and Project Lead, Damian McGettrick Director WM Longreach.

Further, the committee are seen holding (below) both the Lions Environment Award (the Tree) presented to FPS and the ICE certificate for the Sustainability and Environment Award presented by ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) to the Fleet Pond Restoration Project.

The latter recognises the contribution made by all stakeholders to this important engineering project.

June 6th 2013 : Fleet Pond Wildlife Day a great success!

The sun beamed down on the Fleet Pond Wildlife Open Day as families enjoyed the multitude of activities and walks on offer. These ranged from guided insect walks, to demonstrations of chainsaw artwork - with the chance to part-take of delicious refreshments provided by Odiham Scouts.

The new dipping platform, sponsored by the Fleet Townswomen's Guild, and built by volunteers from the Fleet Pond Society was a roaring success. The platform was officially opened by ladies from the Guild, and for the rest of the day there was a constant stream of adults and children dipping the provided nets into the waters of The Flash.

Congratulations to Fleet Pond Ranger, Louise Greenwood, and her colleagues at Hart Countryside Services for organising such a great day - including the weather!

May 16th 2013 : Fleet Pond Wildlife Day guided walks

The list of FREE guided walks and activities at the Fleet Pond Wildlife Day on Sunday 26th May is now out.

Book on to the guided walks on Sunday 26th May at the Hart Countryside Gazebo at Boathouse corner (sign posted from Fleet Station and the main car park off cove road) only 20 places per walk

April 26th 2013 : Fleet Pond Wildlife Day

Come and join rangers from Hart Countryside Services and volunteers from the Fleet Pond Society for this free event at Boathouse Corner, Fleet Pond.

Sunday 26th May 2013 10am - 2pm.

Lots of exciting activities planned for the Fleet Pond Wildlife Day on Sunday 26th May. This free event is open from 10am till 2pm drop in anytime.

There will be lots of things to do including:
• learning about the amazing wildlife on a guided walk
• running around and getting messy with games and crafts
• take a look through telescopes at the Tern island
• try your hand at pond dipping with the Fleet Pond Society
• watch the fantastic art of chainsaw carving
• or sit and have a cup of tea and cake with the Odiham Scouts

There will be lots of stalls with interesting things to see and do so why not pop in and try something new. Find us at Boathouse Corner which will be sign posted from the Main Fleet Pond Car Park and the Train Station.

April 18th 2013 : Colin Gray's Triple SI Challenge

It's become a bit of a tradition for someone to carry out a sponsored event for the Society in recent years and this year, it's our Chairman, Colin Gray, who is taken up the challenge.

Colin plans to tour "as many wildlife and evironmentally important sites as possible in one day". In his own words :

This is the route he plans to undertake.

Visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/colingray3 to sponsor him!

March 27th : Eggcellent Easter Holiday Activities

Quality time with family, playing outdoors and chocolate are just a few of our favourite things about Easter! The Hart Countryside Rangers would like to invite you and your family to share our passion and excitement for the Easter holidays with our fun packed Easter events.

Explore Fleet Pond on Sunday 31st March and Monday 1st April on a self guided Easter ...trail with questions to test your knowledge of the local wildlife, plus there will be a chance to try out some activities along the way, complete the trail and receive an Easter egg. A great way to enjoy a family walk, keeping children enthused and entertained along the way whilst enjoying the fresh air! Collect your nature trail packs from the Fleet Pond Picnic Area to start the trail. Booking not required, drop in anytime between 10am – 2pm (Last trail 2pm). 3 per trail guide (includes egg). ...

We hope you and your family can join us this Easter and look forward to helping you create some extra special memories.

The access track to Fleet Pond has dried out enough to re-open the road but the pot holes have gotten really bad the road is scheduled to be resurfaced over the next few weeks please drive slowly and carefully if you decide to park in the Fleet Pond Main Car Park. Alternatively for the Easter trail on Sunday 31st march and Monday 1st April you can park in the Fleet train station car park the picnic area will be sign posted from there.

March 26th 2013 : Improvements for visitors at Sandy Bay

Dredging work is going on at Sandy Bay to improve the beach there.

For more information, see the Clearwater Progress page.

March 21st 2013 : Checklist of birds seen at Fleet Pond

Part of the value of Fleet Pond is its habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including many birds.

William Legge has provided an updated checklist of birds seen at Fleet Pond in 2012, which can be found on the Specialist Reports page.

March 14th 2013 : Work around Fleet Pond

In support of the dredging work going on there has been some work carried out at Sandy Bay and Boathouse Corner.

There may be some limitations on access, so if you're likely to be around the Pond, read the updates here.

March 7th 2013 : 2012 Photography competition results announced

Linda Kent, winning photographer , is pictured holding the Rosebowl and standing next to the competition judge, Louise Isaacs.

The winning photo and other highly commended entries can be seen on the 2012 Photo Competition page.

March 7th 2013 : Jim Storey 2012 Volunteer of the Year

Jim Storey was named "Volunteer of the Year" for 2012

The citation read :
Jim Storey for his work on the Restoration Programme, for initiating contacts with the OPAL project which brought very wide recognition of the importance of Fleet Pond, for his work on obtaining grant aid, strengthening our relations with the Environment Agency and with Fleet Lions Club.

December 2012 : Fleet Pond Customer Needs Consultation

The Fleet Pond Customer Needs Report (Click to view) has been brought together by the steering group of the Environment Agency, Fleet Pond Society, Hart District Council, and Natural England.

We want you to tell us what would make your visit to Fleet Pond more enjoyable and encourage those who have not yet visited the pond to enjoy their visit and wish to return. This is your opportunity to tell us what you like about Fleet Pond and suggest how it might be improved.

To date the steering group has engaged an independent researcher and the resulting documents are available for consultation from 7th December at: www.hart.gov.uk

Hard copies will be available to the public in the Fleet Library and the Civic Offices in Fleet from 7th December. The consultation will take place from 7th December 2012 to 20th January 2013.

We will analyse all responses and create a visitor strategy for Fleet Pond Nature Reserve covering the next few years.

We are inviting a variety of stakeholders and groups as well as individual members of the public to review the document and respond with their comments. So please take the time to read the document; you can comment on any aspect of it. We would be grateful if you could highlight the paragraph or page that you are referring to in order for us to see your comments in context.

You can respond to the consultation process by emailing:

countryside@hart.gov.uk

Or alternatively you can post your responses to:

Fleet Pond Visitor Strategy Consultation,
Leisure and Environmental Promotion,
Civic Offices, Harlington Way,
Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 4AE

1st November 2012 : Cattle at Fleet Pond

There are cattle at Fleet Pond again

Melody and Magnolia at Wood Lane, Fleet Pond .... with thanks to Linda Storey for the photo.

25th September 2012 : Clarification on Clearwater Project

Questions have been raised by Fleet Pond Society supporters about the wording of the recent Press Release from Hart District Council concerning the return of the dredgers for the next phase of the Restoration Programme. The PR, published in Hart News, says:

“Fleet Pond Society, through its ‘Clearwater Campaign’, promotes community awareness of the situation at the pond and raises voluntary funding towards projects not contained in the main restoration project”.

This gives the impression that the Clearwater Campaign funds are not part of the Restoration Programme. This is very far from true. Clearwater Campaign funds are an important element of the Restoration Programme because they will be spent on projects not covered by the funds raised by Natural England, the Environment Agency and Hart Council. To give just one example, the Clearwater Campaign money will pay for the construction of an “aquatic nursery” in the southern section of the pond. An area will be separated from the main pond by a geotextile curtain and the larger fish removed and placed in the main pond. This will give aquatic plants and animals to thrive and be a “reservoir” of diverse flora and fauna to repopulate the main pond when water quality and clarity has been improved.

Colin Gray Chairman

24th September 2012 : Community Volunteer News

We've added a new page to the site to report on visting Community Volunteers.

Virgin Media, Hook joined us recently and we're expecting teams from the Env Agency Publicity Department and Dimension Data by the time this appears on the site.

18th September 2012 : Keys found at Pond

Someone walking around the Pond has been in touch to say they found some keys, inside the woods running along the back gardens of the houses between Guildford Road and Wood Lane.

If you've lost some recently,email me and I'll pass on your email address to the person.

Hopefully we can find their owner.

5th August 2012 : 2012 Photo Competition

The 2012 Photo Competition has opened. The subject is "All Things, Great and Small"

Entries (up to 3 per person) need to be in by 5th January 2013.

8th July 2012 : Take the Visitor Survey

Fleet Pond Visitor Survey: Why conduct a survey?

Reasons for the survey are to assess how many people visit, why they come and how far they have come. Public money is spent on the management and maintenance of Fleet Pond to keep it a safe and enjoyable place to visit. To justify the money spent it is important to know how many people use it for recreation, what they use it for and in which area they live.

The area they live is important as it shows that the pond does not just provide an amenity for people in Fleet but serves a much wider community. This proves its value and also justifies the use of public money from Hart District Council rather than Fleet Town Council. It also helps if we need to ask for grant aid from neighbouring authorities like Rushmoor Borough Council for specific projects to improve visitor enjoyment of the reserve It helps our future plans if we know what visitors would like that is not currently available.

If you would like to help, download the Survey and once completed, email it to Colin Gray by clicking here..

8th July 2012 : Famous One-eyed Pike is no more

If you've wondered what lies beneath the usually calm surface of Fleet Pond, you might be surprised to know that Pike live there.

One of our longer term residents is sadly no more, but his offspring are probably still in there.

More details on the Fleet Pond Blog

20th June 2012 : Hair Today, Gone Today!

FPS volunteer, Ryan Saxby, went through with his bold (or should that be bald?) sponsored event for the Clearwater Campaign on 16th June when Brooke-Ellen Collins of KJM Salon shaved his long locks off down to a number 1 (Only Health & Safety regulations prevented Ryan going for the full bald look!) in the Hart Shopping centre.


Before - Ryan can manage a smile


No way back!


After - Feeling is believing!


"Do I look old enough for a beer now?" - Don't worry, the pint's not his!

Needless to say, it drew a crowd of well wishers and bemused and some slightly shocked onlookeers! Thanks to those who dropped money in the Clearwater fund collection boxes.

Thanks to David Pottinger for the photos.

22nd May 2012 : Greetings cards from Fleet Pond

These beautiful pictures, all taken at Fleet Pond, are available as A6 size blank cards at 1.50 each or five for 7.00.

They are being sold on behalf of the Clearwater Campaign.

To purchase them please contact Vicki Jull, by email at: vickijull@ntlworld.com

7th May 2012 : Ryan Saxby's Close Shave courtesy of KJM Salon, Fleet


Click to download full size version

9th April 2012 : Ryan Saxby's Close Shave to raise funds for Clearwater Campaign

On 16th June 2012, one of Fleet Pond Society's younger volunteers, Ryan Saxby, will be having his head shaved in aid of the Clearwater Campaign.

Ryan has 'fashionably long' hair (currently about 10 inches long) and will be having it shaved in The Hart Centre in Fleet town centre, if all goes to plan.

1st March 2012 : Follow the progress of the Dredging

There's a new menu option, Clearwater Progress, which links to a page which will show progress of the dredging at the Pond.

You can get their directly via this link.

1st March 2012 : Fleet Pond on BBC South Today tonight

Colin Gray writes

"For those of you who were not available to see, BBC South Today came to the Pond this morning and spent 2 hours filming the dredgers in operation. Chris Conabeer interviewed Louise and then me on the T jetty. Jim was interviewed on the jetty by Carnival Bridge. It seems this was Chris Conabeer’s last day with the BBC. He is retiring and hoping for freelance work and doing some filming.

It all went very well. By the time we had finished interviews the fog had cleared and there were good views of the dredgers in operation off Boathouse Corner. We should have the interviews on BBC South Today this evening and possibly on the BBC news Sunday evening. No doubt the 2 hours will be edited down to 2 minutes so don’t expect too much this evening!

Be worth a look if you're at home.

28th February 2012 : 2011 Photography Competition Winners

Kevin North took Photo of the Year in this year's competition, with his shot of a squirrel.

Five Highly Commended prizes were also awareded to


Mark Hodson,


Dave Driscoll,


Daryl Scriven,


Liza Toth and Aaron Gee (not pictured).

The winning pictures can be seen on the 2011 Photo Competiton page.

22nd February 2012 : First dredging equipment arrives

Cathy Holden reported the arrival of the first of the dredging equipment coming into address the silting problem which the Clearwater Campaign has been in aid of.

Cathy reports that more ("a 20 ton piece") is due in the next few days.

21st February 2012 : News from Fleet Pond Society AGM 2012

Mandy Saxby was announced winner of the Hart District Council Chairman’s Award to Fleet Pond Society’s Volunteer of the Year at the Fleet Pond Society AGM on Saturday 18th February 2012.

Volunteer of the Year 2012

This is the third year of the award, set up by Councillor Sharyn Wheale, to recognise a volunteer or group of volunteers, who members consider has done exceptional service to Fleet Pond or the Fleet Pond Society. Councillor John Kennett presented the winning trophy to Mandy Saxby for her contribution to the pond in 2011. Mandy ventures out in all weathers to monitor water levels in the marshes, joins the monthly work parties, and manages the Society’s stock of branded clothing. In 2011, she raised 1600 for the Clearwater Campaign after walking for a staggering (literally) 24 hours around the pond.

Geoff Baker, of W C Baker & Son, who was unable to attend the AGM, was named as First Runner-Up and will receive a framed certificate. Geoff, along with his family and staff, is an enthusiastic supporter of the Fleet Pond Society and personally sharpens and services the large stock of tools used by their volunteers, for free.

The Second Runners-Up award was presented to the Last of the Summer Wine team, led by Terry Austin. As Cllr. Kennett commented, “They are named mainly for their dishevelled appearance after a hard mornings work under Terry’s command, rather than for ages that reflect those of the infamous TV oldies of that name.”

Last of the Summer Wine team

This intrepid team have repaired fences, cleaned and repaired the tern islands, erected bat and bird boxes, and built the boat jetty at Kenilworth Road viewpoint. Members include Mandy Saxby, with occasional help from son, Ryan, Cathy Holden, Geoff Dee and Nick Keeley.

16th January 2012 : 2012 Fleet Pond Society AGM & Volunteer of the Year.

For more information, see here.

14th December 2011 : 2011 Fleet Pond Society Mistletoe Sale.

Fleet Pond Society will be selling Mistletoe this Saturday at the Hart Shopping Centre

12th November 2011 : 2011 Fleet Pond Christmas Cards now available.

Fleet Pond Society Christmas cards are now available from vickijull@ntlworld.com.

24th October 2011 : 2011 Photo Competition

The 2011 Photo Competition is launched, this year with a simple theme of “A moment to remember”

Entry is open to members and non-members using any type of camera

No entry fee and photographs may be of any size

All entries must be received by 13th January 2012

The “PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR” will receive the annually awarded ROSE BOWL sponsored by Fleet Photographic

All photographs must have been taken at Fleet Pond Nature Reserve - up to 3 per person

All photographs entered may be used by Fleet Pond Society for any purpose it chooses

Send by email to photocomp@fleetpondsociety.co.uk
- note all photos received will receive an acknowledgement

Winners will be notified prior to the prize giving at the AGM on Feb 18th 2012

10th October 2011 : Autumn walk - Birds at the Pond - Sunday 30th October 10am-12pm

Come and Join Peter Hutchins of the RSPB Basingstoke local members group and the Countryside Ranger on a guided birdwatching walk to see Fleet Pond and the spectacular autumn visitors.

Booking essential, please email me on louise.greenwood@hart.gov.uk if you would like to come along, or call the countryside workshop on 01252 623443.

Donations welcome to support the RSPB and the Clearwater Campaign. Please dress appropriately for the weather, and bring binoculars if you have them.

1st October 2011 : Join the fight for Fleet Pond

Volunteers will be welcome to join us at the following tasks. We meet at the Countryside Workshop, Old Pump House Close, at 9.00 a.m. for a 9.15 start every second Sunday (except November which is the first Sunday).

Date

Location

Task

11 Sep 11

Coldstream Marsh

Remove alder and sallow scrub. Remove material from site or burn on an old fire site.

9Oct 11

Coldstream Marsh

As Sep

6 Nov 11

Coldstream Marsh

As Sep

11 Dec 11

Dry Heath

Remove birch scrub. Remove material from site or burn on an old fire site.

8 Jan 12

Dry Heath

As Dec

12 Feb 12

To be decided

 

11 Mar 12

To be decided

 

8 Apr, 13 May & 10 Jun 2012

Sites to be selected.

Fencing, path and stream bank repairs as needed.

The eastern section of Coldstream Marsh is in urgent need of rescue from scrub, hence our concentration this season.

Volunteers will need old clothing, waterproof if rain is expected, protective gloves and wellington boots. We have a supply of gloves and boots if you do not own these. Conditions are wet and muddy. Hazards include deep muddy holes to trap unwary feet, stumps and bramble runners hiding in grass and very sharp tools.

27th September 2011 : Thank you to Fleet Carnival

Thank you, thank you, thank you to the wonderful Fleet Carnival Committee for the magnificent cheque for 2,500 which they presented to the Fleet Pond Society Clearwater Campaign today.

Fleet Pond Society want to thank the Fleet Carnival Committee and everyone who worked so hard to make this year's Carnival such a success and to all the people who came out and supported it over that weekend.

13th September : Fleet Pond in Fleet News

Under the title "A New Dawn for Fleet Pond", the news of the restoration programme for Fleet Pond is front page news in the Fleet News.

7th September 2011 : Night Time Bat walk at Fleet Pond

14th August 2011 : Hart Council give go ahead for Phase 1 of the Fleet Pond Restoration Programme

As reported in the Fleet News & Mail of 12 August 2011, Hart Council’s Cabinet approved the planning application on 4th August and the Planning Services Committee approved it on 10th August.

Below is Society Chairman, Colin Gray's presentation to the Council.

Chairman, members, ladies and gentlemen.

The recommendation before you this evening represents a very significant step towards the restoration of Fleet Pond Nature Reserve. For more than thirty years the Site Special Scientific Interest status of the open water has been classified as deteriorated and worsening.

This recommendation gives us the opportunity to reverse this and make the first positive steps to its recovery.

I would like to express my thanks to the officers of Hart District Council, Natural England and the Environment Agency who have put a lot of time and effort into making this possible. Combined with the works that the Defence Estates has put in place to reduce the inflow of silt to the pond, we can look forward to a much more encouraging future.

The three lead stakeholders, Hart DC, Natural England and Environment Agency have welcomed the help and support that Fleet Pond Society has been able to offer and we have been pleased to work closely with them throughout the process. We look forward to continued co-operation with them.

I hope the Cabinet will agree that Fleet Pond deserves our continued support given its high level of popularity with the local community and its close links with the heritage of our town.

Colin Gray Chairman Fleet Pond Society.

So all systems go for Phase 1.

7th August 2011 : 24 Hours of Le Pond - Still time to donate!

If you've read about Mandy Saxby's "24 Hours of Le Pond" marathon in aid of the Clearwater Campaign in the local press, you might like to know that it's not too late to sponsor her.

Her target was to raise 2000 and she doesn't need much more to reach it, so find a fiver (and don't forget to Gift Aid it - Better than letting your tax go on MP's expense fiddles!)

Fleet Pond is in danger of silting up and all the Clearwater Funds are going towards the effort to save it - Read more here.

A huge thank you to all have sponsored Mandy's effort so far and those who walked with her, you might like to know she actually wasn't that stiff the next day either and made it to her keep fit session!

3rd August 2011 : Fleet Pond History Walk, past, present & future 7th August

Join Colin Gray, chairman of Fleet Pond Society on a walk to explore Fleet Pond’s 1000 years of history, including its use as an ancient fishery and training ground for soldiers, its present condition and status as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and what the future holds for Hampshire’s largest freshwater lake.

Duration: 1 hours. All abilities welcome. Meet at the Car Park in the Reserve.

Donations to Fleet Pond Society & the Clear water campaign welcome.

11th July 2011 : Fleet Carnival

Fleet Carnival was a great success for the Fleet Pond Society.

With the theme of Princes and Princesses, the Society went (aptly) for Swan Lake.

Although they didn't scoop any prizes, they were a big hit with the public and are set to appear in the local press and on the Eagle 96.4 website.

In case you missed them, here are some photos.

6th July 2011 : Fleet Carnival - Profits to Clearwater Campaign

Fleet Carnival is this weekend (8th-10th July) - visit http://www.fleetcarnival.org/ for full details off all the exciting events over Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

All profits raised are dedicated to our Clearwater Campaign - thank you Carnival.

Come along and see the Swan Lake/Fleet Pond swans strut their stuff in the Grand Procession through Fleet town centre on Saturday 3pm!

25th June 2011 20:06 : The Le Pond 24 Hours comes to a triumphant end

Mandy walked the last hour with her son, Ryan to complete her epic 24 Hour Endurance event around Fleet Pond.

The daylight hours brought dry weather and the 7:30 PM finish was in warm evening sunshine.

Friends, family and FPS members were there to cheer her last few steps and Chairman, Colin Gray presented Mandy with a certificate to mark the successful completion.

People made donations to the Clearwater Campaign as they saw Mandy during the day, but if you didn't get a chance you can still sponsor her.

Thanks to all who have sponsored Mandy or walked with her and special thanks to Nicolette and Richard for providing 'pitstop facilities'!

25th June 2011 08:19 : The Le Pond 24 Hours passes half way!

It's been a wet night, but Mandy has passed the half way point in her 24 hour challenge.

If you're around the Pond today, wish her well.

25th June 2011 01:48 : The Le Pond 24 Hours continues!

I've just returned from joining Mandy for the 11:30 - 01:30 stint and a quarter of the 24 hours is now complete.

The rain's eased off a little as I write and Jim's arrived to cover the next 2 hour stint, once Mandy's had a well earned pitstop for food and drink and to stretch her muscles.

24th June 2011 19:30 : The Le Pond 24 Hours begins!

Mandy and Michelle set off for the first hour of the 24 Hours of 'Le Pond' at exactly 19:30, just as the rain began.


Ready for the off!

If you're around the pond between now and 19:30 tomorrow night, be sure to say hello and contribute a little to the Clearwater Campaign.

19th June 2011 : A Thank You and a quick reminder from Fleet Pond Society

18th June 2011 : Ranger Ramble

A few people turned out in mixed weather with for Ranger Tim's last Ranger Ramble

We got a chance to learn about the Conservation tasks and how changes to the Pond area is increasing the diversity of the flora and fauna and returning species not seen for decades, or longer, to the pond.

Species, like Dodder, above, and the Cuckoo Wasp are rare but doing well in the cleared areas.

We also got to see areas where the public can't go and learnt why these non-pond wetland areas are important.

We also said hello to the Belted Galloways grazing and learnt how they also improve the environment in the Pond area.

So, if you want to learn more about what's going on at Fleet Pond and why the sometimes not so pretty work is so important in the long run, pop along on the next Ranger Ramble.

16th June 2011 : 24 Hours of "Le Pond" to help Save Fleet Pond - June 24th - 25th

Mandy Saxby is undertaking a 24 hour walk around Fleet Pond from 7PM on June 24th to 7PM on June 25th to raise funds for the Clearwater Campaign.

If you would like to join her for part of the 24 Hours (for a contribution to the campaign fund), drop a mail to her here.

13th June 2011 : FPS Garden Party a great success

Thanks to everyone who attended or helped out with the Garden Party.

It was a great sucess again this year with even the sun visiting despite threats of showers!

9th June 2011 : 'Ranger Ramble' at Fleet Pond - 18th June

Join Fleet Pond Ranger Tim Ackroyd on a walk to look at the various management works going on, and a look at some of the important wildlife and habitats found around the Pond.
Plus a chance to meet some of the livestock used to maintain some of these habitats.

25th May 2011 : Cattle back at Fleet Pond

Once more we have some summer visitors to help out at Fleet Pond and here are photos of them!

They are a pair of Belted Galloways.

The first is Lupin, who is grey - she is in calf and is due in September.

The brown and white cow is Mozzarella and you will see them on Wood Lane Heath.

29th March 2011 : 24 Hours of "Le Pond" to help Save Fleet Pond

Following Nick Keeley's epic cycle trip, fellow FPS Committee member, Mandy Saxby is undertaking a 24 hour walk around Fleet Pond in June to raise funds for the Clearwater Campaign (For more details see Chris Packham's Video).

If you would like to join her for part of the 24 Hours (for a contribution to the campaign fund), drop a mail to her here.

26th March 2011 : New Photo site for Fleet Pond images - Contribute now!

David Pottinger who runs the Fleet Pond Blog let me know about a new site where anyone can contribute their photos of Fleet Pond

I’ve recently set up a photo-sharing group in Flickr for Fleet Pond Society:



The site is at http://www.flickr.com/groups/1501643@N22/.

We’re really keen to see what different people find attractive or interesting about the pond from a photographic perspective! So, if you have any good photos that you would like to share, please apply to join the group, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

There’s no need to be a member of FPS to join the group

So add your photos from Fleet Pond, old or new, and help us build a great portfolio.

28th February 2011 : Mavis Gray is Top Volunteer

Mavis Gray has volunteered for the Fleet Pond Society since 1985 and this dedication was recognised when she was honoured with the Hart Chairman’s Award for ‘Fleet Pond Society’s Volunteer of the Year 2010’.

Hart Council Chairman, Councillor Colin Ive presented Mavis with the award at the Society’s recent AGM.

In the citation, read out by Councillor Ive, it was noted that in her support of the Society Mavis wears a variety of hats. Over the years Mavis has manned information stands which raise the Society’s profile in the community and recruit new members, spent many hours preparing and providing food and refreshments at social events, at the Executive Committee meetings and at the monthly work parties, where her special energy cakes are legendary. On the administration side, Mavis proof reads the quarterly newsletter and is a great support to her husband Colin Gray, the Society Chairman.

Mavis’s reaction on receiving the award was one of shock and pleasure:

‘This Award has come as a complete surprise to me and I am both honoured and proud to receive it. I feel privileged to have been nominated and I thank Councillor Ive for coming along to present it to me. I have enjoyed all the years that I have been a part of the Society.’

Three nominations were received for ‘Volunteer of the Year 2010’ and the other two were:-

Nick Keeley for his impressive sponsored cycle ride to Liverpool and back in July 2010 which has raised more than 4,000 for the Clearwater Campaign aimed at funding the preparation work for the restoration programme for Fleet Pond. Nick had no support team for the ride, relying on his own initiative in finding food and overnight accommodation at each stage. Only on one occasion did he need to call on his wife Margaret to take him to the nearest hotel when there was none available at one of his stops.

The ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ volunteer team led by Terry Austin, for their dedication to on-site management works while the Fleet Pond Ranger needed to devote all her time to writing the Management Plan. The team regularly performs numerous week day support tasks around the Reserve including: building the new boat jetty at Kenilworth Wood, clearing the overgrown paths along the Brookly Stream, putting up protective fencing and repairing broken fencing as well as helping the Rangers with the reed bed project, amongst many other tasks.

As Chairman of Hart Council during 2009/2010, Councillor Sharyn Wheale donated this trophy to the Society to be awarded to the volunteer that the Executive Committee decided had contributed most to the Society either in the year in question or over several years leading up to the award. On this occasion the Executive Committee had a long debate over the merits of each nominee, all considered very worthy of nomination, but the vote for Mavis Gray to receive the award was unanimous.

25th February 2011 : Photo Competition winners announced

The winners of this year’s competition were announced at the AGM and the Rose Bowl was awarded to Richard Bebb. The standard of entries was very high and the judge had a very difficult task in selecting winners.

Many thanks must go to Terry Chapman for giving up his time to both judge the competition and to come to present the prizes.

Winners photographs will appear on this site shortly.

3rd January 2011 : Fleet Pond Blog has the "Wow!" Factor

David Pottinger, Fleet Pond's Blogger wrote to say:

The company we use for the blog have done a review of all the blogs they run (over 16 million of them worldwide) and ours came out with a 'wow' factor ie really really good!

Here's the link: http://fleetpond.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/2010-in-review/

I've quite alot of new ideas for 2011(to keep the popularity up and to draw in new readers) but am always keen to hear of new ideas and as well as suggestions for new writers, including friends and colleagues.

Congratulations to Colin for writing the most popular post viewed in 2010 (followed by Peter, me and Joanna). It's interesting to see what others think are interesting topics as this might give us some new ideas about what to advertise or promote as a compelling or especially interesting aspect of the Pond.

19th December 2010 : History Snippet - Plane crash in Fleet Pond (1917!)

Vicki Jull noted this snippet in the Fleet History Society newsletter.

An aircraft crash in 1917 was briefly reported in the following few lines: "Aeroplane in Fleet Pond - on Tuesday evening (14 September 1917), just before the storm, an aeroplane went nose first into the pond.

The occupants had a marvellous escape, considering the position of the aeroplane in the pond. The machine has now been successfully removed from the water.

A soldier's wife pluckily swam over quarter of a mile to their rescue."

1st December 2010 : Winter comes to Fleet Pond

Mandy, one of our Dipwell readers, snapped the snow at Sandy Bay this morning.

Christmas Card Winners ceremony

Cathy Holden writes:

In a ceremony in the Hart Centre on Saturday 4th September, the winners of the Fleet Pond Society Christmas Card competition were presented with certificates and copies of their cards by Society Chairman Colin Gray.

Organiser Vicki Jull said ‘The competition was extremely well supported with beautiful entries of a very high standard. Choosing the five winners was exceedingly difficult.’

The five winners (pictured above) were (left to right) Louise Coughlin, Auli McCall, Michelle Salter, Angela Whitby and Natalie Elliott.

Colin Gray said ‘This is the first time the Society has held a Christmas Card Competition and we are delighted that it has been such a huge success. We would like to thank everyone who entered.’

The winning cards are available to purchase at 3 for a pack of the 5 through Vicki Jull at vickijull@ntlworld.com

All monies raised through the competition and the sale of the cards is going towards the Fleet Pond Clearwater Campaign.

The winning photographs can be seen here.

July 11th 2010 : Nick Keeley's sponsored ride update

Nick has reached Liverpool and, after a well deserved rest day, will be starting his return leg shortly.

You can follow his daily updates on the Fleet Pond Society blog and donate to the Clearwater Campaign.

July 10th 2010 : Fleet Pond Society take top honours at Carnival!

Fleet Pond Society's float took victory in Class 2 of the Float competition at the 2010 Fleet Carnival.

First Place

This year the float celebrated the pastime of fishing.

The Float 'team'

As you can see, the famous monk outfits got another outing - Very fetching!

July 8th 2010 : Nick Keeley's sponsored ride update

Fleet Pond Society Treasurer, Nick Keeley, is well into his 500 mile sponsored ride in aid of the Clearwater Campaign.

The map below shows his progress so far (Purple is completed up to day 3, red is day 4 which was yesterday).

Nick's progress so far

You can follow his daily updates on the Fleet Pond Society blog and donate to the Clearwater Campaign.

July 4th 2010 : Nick Keeley starts sponsored ride

On Sunday 4th July 2010, Fleet Pond Society Treasurer, Nick Keeley, set off from Fleet to cycle 500 miles to Liverpool and back to raise money for Fleet Pond’s Clearwater Campaign.

Nick sets off on his sponsored ride

The Clearwater Campaign is vital to the future of Fleet Pond, if we are to prevent it losing its status as SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) or even disappearing completely due to the increasingly serious silting.

To follow Nick’s progress on his marathon journey, visit the Fleet Pond Society blog where the story of his ride will be updated daily from Sunday evening.

Please help us to safeguard the future of Fleet Pond.

July 3rd 2010 : More cattle at Fleet Pond

We have even more cattle grazing at Fleet Pond now!

Knickerbocker, Malcolm and Macadamia They are Belted Galloway's called Knickerbocker (the largest), Malcolm (has a white back leg) and Macadamia (the other small one).

Knickerbocker is apparently very used to people and following the bucket etc, but the other two are slightly less used to people, so they should be approached with a bit more care (but they shouldn't cause any problems!)

The people at Miller's Ark Farm (where they come from) would like to get these two more used to people so it will do them some good to be approached!

June 11th 2010 : Cattle back at Fleet Pond

As in previous years, we've cattle back grazing the heathland at Fleet Pond.

Mirror, Milo and Maltloaf

Their names are Mirror (tag number 191), Milo (196) and Maltloaf (197).

They are hard to tell apart as they are all quite similar in markings!

There are also two cows on nearby Elvetham Heath - the white one is Imogen and the red one is Hetti.

June 5th 2010 : New Jetty 'launched'

On the 30th May a small ceremony took place to 'officially' hand the new jetty over to Fleet Pond Society.

Colin (right) accepts the jettty from 'The Last of the Summer Wine' volunteers.

A group of volunteers (self dubbed "The Last of the Summer Wine") had built the new jetty, which will make it much easier to launch the Society's and Ranger's boats.

As well as the wooden jetty, a ramp has been built to allow the society's tractors to reverse the boats into the water on their trailer.

Some of  'The Last of the Summer Wine' volunteers.

To celebrate, a number of people took short trips out on the Pond.

Terry and Ryan christen the jetty with the first launch from it.

And finally, a shot showing what hard, mucky work it was.

Hard work involved in building the Jetty

Well done and thanks to all involved.

June 1st 2010 : Sponsored Ride in aid of the Clearwater Campaign

To support our Clearwater campaign, our new treasurer, Nick Keeley plans to have a break from counting money and try to raise some instead. In July or August, depending on the weather, he plans to cycle from Fleet to Liverpool and back, a round trip of about 500 miles in two weeks. Please, therefore, sponsor him, if you have not already done so. .

If you are a UK taxpayer and fill in the Gift Aid declaration a few more pounds can be reclaimed by us from the tax authorities. This is by far the best way for the Society, as it saves us having to write to people to collect your sponsorship after the ride.

Alternatively, you can send a cheque, payable to Fleet Pond Society together with your email address. Send it to Nick Keeley, 12 Chestnut Grove, Fleet, GU51 3LW.

Your cheque will not be cashed until after the ride and will be returned if the ride does not take place. Your email address will enable him to let you know how the ride goes.

As he will be riding alone, paying for his own accommodation and food, carrying all his clothing in two panniers on the bike, he doesn’t need any back-up vehicles, so all money raised will go to the Clearwater campaign.

He plans to go to Liverpool via Reading, Bicester, Banbury, Leamington Spa, Lichfield, then up the Trent Valley, over to Cheshire and by ferry across the Mersey to Liverpool. He will then spend a day or so resting and visiting family. He will ride back through Cheshire to Ironbridge, Evesham, the Cotswolds and finally back to Fleet. We plan to give a day-by-day update of his ride as it happens on the Fleet Pond Society blog (accessed via the links page of this site). So check out our blog early in July to see how he’s getting on.

May 16th 2010 : International Biodiversity day 22nd May at Fleet Pond

We've got a fantastic, free event for the public to celebrate International Biodiversity Day on 22 May. It's in conjuction with the national, Lottery-funded OPAL Project and will be an exciting 'hands on event'. The many and varied groups attending will be showing visitors what they do to help look after the environment. We hope this will inspire more people to enjoy and care about their local environment.

There will be activities to enjoy from Fleet Pond Society, Hart District Council Rangers, the Environment Agency, Imperial College, University College London, Hampshire Wildlife Trust, Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership, Fleet to Aldershot Wildlife Watch, the Friends of Brickfields Country Park, Hampshire Ornithological Society, Butterfly Conservation and the RSPB.

Activities are centred around the PIcnic Area but there's also stuff to do at Sandy Bay and Boathouse Corner. At 2pm there will be a guided walk from the main car park in which visitors can find out about the exciting happenings at the Pond over the past thousand years.

The event runs from 11am to 4pm at Fleet Pond Nature Reserve which is next to Fleet's mainline station and 5mins from Junction 4a of the M3. The reserve centres around Hampshire's largest freshwater lake which has important reedbeds, marshes as well as lowland dry heathland.

Download the event poster here

April 20th 2010 : Major event at the Pond on 22 May

Fleet Pond Society and the Lottery-funded OPAL project (www.OPALexplorenature.org) is co-organising a local event at the Pond to celebrate International Biodiversity Day in this UN International Year of Biodiversity. Quite a coup for us. Hopefully we'll be able to get lot's of local groups there too. We intend this to be an exciting 'hands on event'. It will give everyone a chance to explain what they do and inspire more people to enjoy and care about their local environment. We'd expect to attract several hundred people and families to the event.


Any local groups are welcome to do something at this event. We're looking for hands on stuff but if they just want to come along and explain what you do and sell a few wares then that would be good too. And most of all - bring their chums as there will be lots for everyone to do. We'd be grateful if people could display and/or pass our poster around too. If they can think of any other groups who might want to come along, please ask them on our behalf.

The event will run 11:00 to 16:00 at Fleet Pond Nature Reserve (www.fleetpondsociety.co.uk and http://fleetpond.wordpress.com/) which is next to Fleet's mainline station and 5mins from Junction 4a of the M3. The reserve centres around Hampshire's largest freshwater lake which has important reedbeds, marshes as well as lowland dry heathland. It's quite a coup to get the 12m Lottery-funded project OPAL down to Hampshire - usually their annual event is in the Royal Parks!

We've asked EA if they could do some fishing-related biodiversity stuff and NE something related to the Thames Basin Heaths. The OPAL Air and Water Centres will be there. We will have a professional photographer with us from 1.30 to 2.30. So you may end up on OPAL's website or annual report!

Please contact colin@fleetpondsociety.co.uk or 01252 616183 if you're a group who'd like to come along

January 28th 2010 : Young Person of the Year 2009

Richard Bennett, a Fleet Pond Society volunteer was nominated for the Young Person of the Year award organised by Fleet Festivities Partnership and funded as joint project with Hart District Council Community and Partnerships and Hart Youth Partnership.

All at Fleet Pond Society were delighted when he won.

Richard is pictured receiving his award—in the snow—from Sharyn Wheale whilst he was on university holiday over the new year, also pictured are Colin Gray,Geoff Dee & Cathy Holden.

January 26th 2010 : Fleet Pond Society Christmas Card competition

Fleet Pond Society is running a competition to find photographs that will be printed as Christmas cards and sold in order to raise funds for the society.

The winners will be credited on the cards and will receive a free pack of Fleet Pond Society Christmas cards as their prize.

The photographs can have been taken in previous years, and must be of Fleet Pond Nature Reserve.

The entry fee is 3:00 per person.

Please contact Vicki Jull on vickijull@ntlworld.com for further information or download the entry form here.

January 20th 2010 : Fleet Pond Society Curry evening a big success

A packed Gulshan restaurant enjoyed excellent food and hospitality in aid of the Carnival Bridge replacement.

A big thank you to all at the restaurant and those of you who came along.

There's still plenty of money to be raised, though, so feel free to send contributions (or purchase FPS clothing)!

December 29th 2009 : Fleet Pond Society article in Hampshire Life Magazine

The January 2010 issue of Hampshire Life magazine includes an article on Fleet Pond Society and its work.

You can see a larger extract of the article here or buy the magazine!

December 3rd 2009 : Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Fleet Pond Society will take place at 7.15pm on Saturday 20th February 2010 at the St. P & J Church Hall, Kings Road, Fleet.

We would like to encourage Members to attend, as this is your opportunity to put questions to the Executive Committee and to share your views on the future of Fleet Pond Nature Reserve.

Nominations are required for the election of Officers and Members to the Executive Committee.

For more information - Download this document

November 1st 2009 : Bats for Halloween

Just to prove we at FPS are in the Halloween mood, we put up eight bat boxes recently, in the wood just west of the Green.

We are hoping to provide roosts for Brown long-eared bats, Pipistrelles and who knows what else?

October 21st 2009 : Join us for a Curry for Carnival Bridge

The Pond Society invite you to the hottest event of the year at the Gulshan restaurant in Fleet, at 7.30pm on 19 January, 2010.


We will be served a sumptuous meal of starters, mains, naans and rice chosen specially for us by Mr Chowdhury.
And if you're still hungry when you've finished what's been served - then just ask for some more! You can have as much as you like. There'll plenty for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.
The event is to help raise money for replacing Carnival Bridge and for us all to have a great night out.

Tickets are 15 in advance. So blow away those winter blues, invite your friends and contact Jim Storey for your tickets.
Contact him on 647650 or jim.storey17@ntlworld.com. They're going fast!

August 10th 2009 : Dog attacks at Fleet Pond

Fleet Pond Society was recently informed about a large dog that has been attacking other dogs, even when held on a lead.
The owner had been unable to exercise adequate control.
The issue became much more serious when one dog received serious lacerations following an attack.

Both Hart District Council and our local police have been informed, have spoken to the owner and are working with the owner towards a solution. Their first inclination was to have the dog destroyed but do try to avoid such extreme measures if it is felt there are acceptable alternatives. Training of both owner and dog is being tried and results will determine future action.
If you should experience any incidents of dogs with aggressive behaviour or attacking other dogs or wildlife, please report such incidents to the police.
Please give as accurate a description as possible of the owner.

July 19th 2009 : Cattle at Fleet Pond

In an ongoing natural grazing project, Alexandra and Hyacinth are this year at Fleet Pond - You may see them grazing in the fields around the Pond on your travels.

July 11th 2009 : Fleet Pond Society at the Fleet Carnival

FPS Members were out in the Fleet Carnival procession today.

The theme was Food and so, in honour of the Pond's origin as as fishery for the Bishop of Winchester, they dressed as Monks to collect money for charity and dole out sweets to the children.

Their efforts scooped a 3rd prize in the Private Entrants category.

They then went on to celebrate their success in a manner I'm sure the Bishop wouldn't have approved of!

June 24th 2009 : Heritage on your doorstep event - September 12th

Fleet and Crookham have a fascinating history that may not be obvious at first glance, and a display at Fleet Library on 12 September will show how the area has developed from Roman times through the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries to the place we live in today.

The event is part of the Heritage Open Days, England’s biggest voluntary cultural event, and takes place on Saturday 12 September at Fleet Library from 9.30am until 4.30pm. Activities include fascinating display materials, a children's quiz and a mini town trail.

Three popular local interest groups – Fleet & Church Crookham Society, Fleet & Crookham Local History Group and Fleet Pond Society – have combined their knowledge to put the event together. Gillian Wain, representing the three groups, said, “Heritage Open Days celebrates England's fantastic architecture and culture at events across the country. Our display at the library and our mini Fleet town trail will show the changes that Fleet, Church Crookham and Crookham have seen over the centuries, and should prove very interesting. Come along and discover the heritage on your doorstep!”

Heritage Open Days is England’s biggest voluntary cultural event. More than 3,500 historic and unusual buildings open their doors to the public for free and put on tours and events during the second weekend in September. 90 per cent of the population live within 30 minutes of a Heritage Open Days event. More information is available from www.heritageopendays.org.uk.

For more information about the event please email us

May 28th 2009 : Lynx, Lucas and Lego at Fleet Pond.

Here are pictures of Lynx, Lego and Lucas who arrived on Wood Lane Heath yesterday.


They obviously love having their photo taken and are standing in order of their names for role call! They are young males and full of energy, so will be brilliant at grazing the wet heath.

April 28th 2009 : NEW BOOKLET: FLEET POND SOCIETY - THE FIRST 30 YEARS by Society President Peter Martin.

As you may have seen from local newspapers, the above booklet has now been printed and is available from

Peter Martin 17 Longmead,
Fleet, Hampshire.
GU52 7TX
(Tel: 01252 684828)

at 3 per copy (add 1 if you want it posted).

In order to avoid using Society funds, which are raised to help protect and enhance Fleet Pond Nature Reserve, the printing costs were raised by sponsorship and special thanks are due to the following:

The booklet begins with a Foreword by the Society’s Patron, Chris Packham.

The booklet is a “must have” for all who have supported the efforts of the Society over many years and would like a reminder of its achievements. For newer Members, it will help to paint a picture of what our volunteers have done. It deals with the reasons for forming the Society, what happened in the early years, how the footpaths were constructed, the installation of the bridges and landing stage, pollution incidents, wildlife rescues, voluntary wardening, fire fighting, fund raising, the Twinning and the conservation working parties. It is not only a historical record of what the Society has accomplished; it is a tribute to all that the volunteers have done to make sure that the flora and fauna within the Reserve is protected, whilst still providing an area for quiet enjoyment for local residents.

All monies received from sales will go into the Society’s funds for the protection and enhancement of Fleet Pond Nature Reserve.

April 8th 2009 : Upgrades to the footpaths

Good news for walkers at Fleet Pond.

The Fleet Pond Society have 1,000 to spend on the footpath from Gelvert Bridge to the Coldstream end of the Sandy Bay boardwalk. Colin will need to write a cheque for the supplier as soon as this award cheque arrives.

We are hoping there will be enough material to continue the path to the first rise up onto the upper Sandhills path.

January 25th 2009 : Fleet Pond Society AGM and Garden Party

The AGM will take place on 21st February, 2009 at SS Philip’s & James’s Church Hall, Kings Road, Fleet at 7:15PM.

As well as the AGM, the 2008 Photographic Competition awards will be presented and the entries displayed.

Full details here.

And.. a little later in the year, but one for your diary, the Fleet Pond Society Garden Party will take place on Saturday 13th June 2009 between 11.00am to 4.00pm at Grasmere, 35 Chestnut Grove, Fleet.

Lots of bargains, plant stall, cake stall, bric-a-brac and games for kids of all ages.

All are welcome—so come along, enjoy the day and help us raise funds for the pond.

September 20th 2008 : Fleet Pond Blog

Not that new, but we have just added a link to the Fleet Pond Blog to the site.

You can find the blog at http://fleetpond.wordpress.com/.

July 23rd 2008 : Air Ambulance lands at Fleet Pond

Colin Gray had a close encounter at Fleet Pond.

Air Ambulance landed at Sandy Bay

Excitement at the pond this morning around 11.30 a.m. I was out inspecting the work site for the employee volunteers visit on 30th July when a helicopter arrived flying lower and lower. The pilot tried to land on Fugelmere Marsh but wisely gave up the attempt and landed at Sandy Bay. Three paramedics disembarked in a hurry and the leading one asked me where they could find Kenilworth Road. Off they dashed followed quickly by the pilot.

Later I met them coming back and there was an ambulance and a paramedic car at the junction with Westover and Fugelmere. Three green-clothed paramedics asked me where the helicopter had landed and rushed of after them. I was not told what the problem was but it was obviously pretty urgent.

June 23rd 2008 : Cattle at Fleet Pond

Once again there are cattle grazing at Fleet Pond as part of the natural management project.

Cows at Fleet Pond

We now have two Belted Galloways at Wood Lane Heath!

They are Murray (the black and white one), who was with the girls at Elvetham Heath last year, and then joined the boys at the end of the summer when Foot and Mouth meant he couldn't go back to the farm.

His girl friend is Jessie (the dun one) and he is very interested in her indeed, so we may have a Fleet Pond conceived calf to boast about next year!

April 6th 2008 : Snow at Fleet Pond

Snow in our part of England is unusual these days and to have enough to settle is even more so.

We woke up this morning to see a covering of snow in our garden, so I nipped down to the Pond and took some photos.

The water obviously kept the temperatures up a little, as the snow was thinner on the ground around the pond, but the trees were heavy with snow and there were plenty of people out enjoying the beautiful scenery that the snow produced.

November 2007 : Fleet Pond Restoration Programme

Hart District Council has employed contractors ENTEC to draft a Framework Project for the restoration of Fleet Pond - Read the full report here.

July 2007 : KAY NEWBY BOOKLET ON FOX CUB FOSTERING

Kay Newby has put together all her experiences with fostering and feeding foxes into a little book.

There are some good photos in it and the story would appeal to anyone who welcomes foxes to their gardens or just likes them. It sells for 1 a copy with funds going to FPS.

Contact Barbara Martin if you are interested in a copy.

June 2007 : LIONS JOIN THE ACTION IN THE RAIN

Despite steady rain all morning, a team of twelve volunteers, including four Fleet Lions, joined the Path Patch task at Fleet Pond on 13th May. Dripping but unbowed the team repaired breaches in the Gelvert Stream banks that threatened to erode the footpath.

Once more the newly acquired tractor proved it was up to the task and moved four trailer loads of sand from Sandy Bay to fill in the gaps, faced with willow poles interwoven with willow and holly saplings. It is hoped that the willow will root to consolidate the repairs.

This was the first time that Fleet Lions had had the opportunity to meet the tractor, for which they had helped to raise funds, and to see it in action. They had been unable to attend the launch ceremony back in March. Jim Storey, Fleet Lion team leader, said: “The tractor and tipping trailer was a great help to our work. We all looked like Water Voles at the end of the day, but we had a lot of fun.”

This was the second of two tasks under the banner ACTION EARTH organised by Community Service Volunteers, Environment, and sponsored by Morrisons’ Supermarkets. This is an annual event and Fleet Pond Society volunteers are regular participants. Society chairman, Colin Gray said: “CSV is the UK’s leading volunteer organisation and we are pleased to support their efforts to encourage local people to take an active part in volunteering activities which bring benefits to the local community.”

Details of activities under the Action Earth banner can be found at www.csv.org.uk and for more information about Fleet Pond and the Society contact Colin Gray at colin@fleetpondsociety.co.uk or visit the website www.fleetpondsociety.co.uk

May 2007 : Hartford Park, Pyestock.

Members who attended the AGM will recall that I mentioned that a new planning application was pending for redevelopment of the old NGTE site at Pyestock. The Developers, Prudential Properties Investment Management, wish to redevelop the site as a major warehousing and distribution facility, which would mean a large number of HGV movements daily, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The developer suggests this might be some 600 per day but research by the campaign group Stop Pyestock Blot – Act Now (SPLAT) have estimated a figure more like 1,500. Whatever figure is nearer the truth it is a lot of HGVs moving between the M3 and Pyestock and probably even more, smaller vans and lorries distributing goods via local roads.

Local residents are concerned at the level of light pollution, noise and air pollution that is likely to be generated by this site, and about road congestion and the overall impact on our local environment should the application be approved. It is currently being assessed by Hart District Council under planning application reference 07/00764/MAJOR and full details can be found by visiting the Hart DC website www.hart.gov.uk and following links to planning online.

I would strongly recommend that you look at this application and make your views known to the Council either by letter, e-mail or using the website facility.

Fleet Pond Society has discussed this application at the Executive Committee and at the AGM. The Society must assess the potential impact on the nature reserve and the wildlife to which it gives sanctuary. In this respect we lodged concerns at potential impacts of light pollution from a 24 hour operation, potential noise levels and expressed concern that strong measures must be taken to ensure that no vehicle washing materials or oils spills could escape the site into the streams and ditches on adjacent land that might find its way into Fleet Pond or Cove Brook.

We felt that potential impacts on traffic and local residents would be best addressed by SPLAT, Fleet & Crookham Civic Society and the residents themselves. It is a fact that a large number of letters has a greater influence on the Council decision than one letter from one organisation.

Please do look at this application and make your own views known. Letters count.

April 2007 : BAMBOO BASH AT BROOKLY STREAM

The newly acquired tractor and trailer for Fleet Pond’s volunteer force proved its value when volunteers tackled a large spread of bamboo that was threatening to take over the bank of the Brookly Stream. Three trailer loads of cut bamboo stems and roots were ferried back to the workshop for disposal when volunteers took part in the first of two projects of 2007 under the Action Earth banner. Action Earth is a country-wide scheme organised by Community Service Volunteers and sponsored in 2007 by Morrison’s supermarkets. The scheme encourages groups to attract volunteers to help in community projects and modest financial grants are available to help with essential tools and materials.

Twelve volunteers donned wellies and wielded loppers, spades and mattocks to tackle the dense bamboo thicket and dig out the tough roots. Leader Dave Buckler said: “If we had not had the tractor we would have had the task of carrying large bundles of bamboo away from the site by hand. The stream runs along the rear of several private gardens and burning on site was not an option. We always have to think of the neighbours when bonfires might otherwise solve a problem of disposal.”

April 2007 : TRACTOR LAUNCH AT FLEET POND.

Donors and benefactors gathered at Hart Countryside Workshop in Fleet to launch the Kubota 1410 tractor purchased for use by volunteers and the rangers at the Fleet Pond nature reserve. The purchase of the two-year old Kubota and a brand new trailer was made possible by a 3,000 grant from the Rushmoor Borough Council/ TAG Farnborough Airport Ltd Environment Fund, 1,000 from the Cayo Foundation arranged by James Arbuthnot MP, 250 donated by Fleet Lions and 540 from Fleet Pond Society Funds.

A further 10,000 from the Environment Fund will be used to fund preparatory work for the Restoration Programme for Fleet Pond.

Roger Walker, Director of Operations at TAG, said “We are delighted that the Environment Fund is being used for active environmental improvements and support for voluntary effort in the community. It is rewarding to see first hand how the fund is being used.” Roger, dressed for the office rather than the outdoors, declined the offer to drive the tractor but James Arbuthnot took a turn at the wheel and declared it: “Definitely fit for purpose.” Councillor Paul Einchcomb, Hart’s portfolio holder for the Countryside, also took a spin round the workshop yard. Paul said: “Hart Council welcomes the positive co-operation between the Countryside Service and Fleet Pond Society that has helped to bring together funding for a machine that will serve both organisations well in their activities at Fleet Pond.”

Attending the launch with Roger, James and Paul were Elaine Turner, TAG Events Manager, Councillor Sue Fisher, Pondtail Ward councillor and Steve Lyons, Hart Ranger. The launch and the refreshments that followed were organised by Fleet Pond Society. Society committee and members present were Colin Gray, Chairman, and Mavis Gray, Barbara Martin, Events Organiser, and her husband Society founder member, Peter, and Vicki Jull and former Chairman David Jones and his wife Joan. Colin said: “We wanted to thank all those whose contributions had made it possible to provide a reliable all-terrain transport for all the tools and equipment our volunteers need in their management tasks at Fleet Pond. This small tractor answers our prayers and we are very grateful. We welcome the support of the Countryside Service and look forward to sharing this excellent little tractor with them.”

February 2007 : New Tractor Arrives

Here are a couple of pictures of the replacement tractor arriving at the Workshop, its new home.

It’s a Kubota 1410 and replaces our old and venerable Yanmar.

Purchase of this more modern machine and a brand new, tipping trailer was made possible by generous contributions from Rushmoor Borough Council Environment Fund, The Cayo Foundation and Fleet Lions.