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Bishops fish pond amidst stunning heathland and abundant wildlife
Frensham Little Pond and Great Pond were originally created in the 13th century, to supply fish to the Bishop of Winchester and his court, whilst visiting Farnham Castle. Today the pond and surrounding area is a sanctuary for wildlife with always something new to see.
Around the pond you can spot many common and rare birds, such as reed bunting, sedge warbler and great crested grebe, as well as nightjars and woodlarks. There are damselflies and dragonflies darting over the glistening water in warmer months, and the banks of the pond are fringed with a multitude of yellow iris, purple loose-strife and common reeds.
The heathland is a colourful mosaic of purple heathers, fragrant bright yellow gorse and rich green bracken. There are ancient gnarled oaks and pines to be found scattered across the site, and many footpaths to explore.
Frensham is internationally important for the variety of rare and endangered wildlife that thrive on the heath and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area and a Special Area of Conservation. The Common and Great Pond are leased to and managed by Waverley Borough Council.
Our footpaths near the dam are open
Over the past 14 weeks, we’ve been carrying out repairs to our ancient dam (the original structure was built in 1246 by the monks of Waverley Abbey, near Farnham).
Our dam is now looking great and more importantly watertight and safe… Why not pop along and see first hand the skilled work that has been done?
A glimpse into the old dam’s past
When the brick weir was recently removed for reconstruction, we uncovered some square holes. We believe that these were the original post holes from the sluice's old timber frame.
The pond’s water level used to be controlled by a timber sluice gate. This was replaced by a steel one with a vertical spindle (which can still be seen) and was eventually bricked up when it became redundant. The pond can now only be emptied by pumping.
Start your 50 things adventure
An outdoor adventure is always around the next tree or our pond. And our list of 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ will set you on your own adventure here.
Try one or two of our adventures...
- Make a trail with sticks
- Create some wild art
- Hunt for bugs
- Track wild animals
- Go bird watching