Following a couple of months of warm weather the rebuilt banks are finally fully settled and dried out, allowing us to invite visitors back inside the pond fences. This marks the completion of a successful pond project.
Sheepwash Pond restoration project at Hatchlands Park
Sheepwash Pond is our largest expanse of water and a valuable habitat resource. As well as being used by the local community as a fishing pond and a peaceful picnic spot for our visitors, it’s home to a number of fish including wild carp, bream, roach, perch and pike, 15 species of dragonfly and damselfly, birds, wildfowl, bats and other aquatic invertebrates.
The banks of this picturesque pond have suffered from serious erosion which has caused the silt levels in the water to increase. Some areas of the pond can become quite shallow and, in the summer months, oxygen levels can fall very low due to a build-up of blanket weed and algae as well as Norfolk reed which thrives in shallow water. We’ve fenced the pond and so the problem has slowed, but we needed to seek a long-term solution.
We want a pond which can continue to be enjoyed by everyone but, at the same time, will benefit the flora and fauna that live there. We also wanted a small, non-commercial pond for local people to fish in.
With so much work going on around the pond we decided that we could do more to help serve the population of kingfishers that we regularly see in the park. Kingfishers are cavity nesters, with most species nesting in holes that they dig into earth banks on the sides of ponds, streams and rivers. We’re giving them a head start by creating pre-built tunnels and tubes.
The project will follow a plan drawn up by our Senior Gardener, Dan Bennett. Aquamaintain Ltd, a specialist contractor in waterways, ponds and lakes will carry out the bulk of the work using spillings lined with hessian to hold silt reclaimed from the pond to create new banks. A micromesh net will also be installed to create a new pond offering invertebrates and amphibians a new predator-free habitat.
01 Jul 19
Sheepwash Pond reopens to visitors
08 Apr 19
To celebrate our new look pond we commissioned a pair of beautiful willow Kingfisher sculptures courtesy of the hugely talented Willowtwisters. These have now been installed by Dan and our team of garden volunteers. We hope that they’ll keep watch over the pond for many years to come.
22 Oct 18
The reinstated banks now need a significant amount of time to settle and firm up. It's likely to be the late spring or early summer of 2019 before we can welcome visitors back inside the fences that surround the pond.