The dredging equipment will soon return to Fleet Pond to begin the next phase of the ongoing Restoration Project.
This phase is funded by the Environment Agency’s ‘Water Framework Directive’ and Natural England’s ‘Conservation & Enhancement Scheme’.
This season’s main dredging work will take place in Hemelite Bay, the area nearest to the railway station.
The resulting silt will be used to create extensions to the Wellington and Northern Reedbeds (marked on the map), which will then be planted up with reeds.
Sediment will hopefully be taken offsite during this phase; we are awaiting lab results to help confirm where this might be.
Cressida Wheelwright, Natural England’s Land Management Lead Adviser says: “This innovative project will remove the silt that has built up over years in Fleet Pond, improving water quality and as a result creating a better environment for rare plant and animal species to thrive.”
A sediment curtain will be installed in Brookly Bay to reduce the amount of silt washing down the Brookly Stream and entering the pond.
This will contain the silt in a small area near the shore allowing future dredging to take place from the shore eliminating the need to carry out expensive in-lake dredging from pontoons.
The Pond has benefited hugely from the work already done. Cllr Sara Kinnell, Hart District Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Environmental Promotions says:
“This is an exciting time; the new islands have provided a great breeding habitat for birds at Fleet Pond and marshland plants and reeds have started to grow on the new islands”.
The Fleet Pond Restoration Project is an award winning, £1 million project to improve the water quality, led by Hart District Council in partnership with the Fleet Pond Society, Natural England, the Environment Agency & the Ministry of Defence.
Colin Gray, Chairman of Fleet Pond Society says:
“We hope that in this season we can start planting reeds on the new eastern islands to bring more benefits to our wildlife diversity.”
Press Release, November 28, 2013