BISHOPS WALTHAM NORTH POND CONSERVATION GROUP

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Photos: down button to photos

2014 work parties: down button to 2014 work parties

2013 work parties: down button to 2013 work parties

2012 work parties: down button to 2012 work parties

2011 work parties: down button to 2011 work parties

2010 work parties: down button to 2010 work parties

We have found that 2 to 2.5 hours is an optimum amount of time for a work party. They are normally held at the weekend, but occasionally we may have a mid-week work party if sufficient volunteers are available

When attending a work party please wear gloves to protect your hands, suitable old clothes and stout shoes or boots.

Work party volunteers will also be asked to sign an attendance sheet at the start of each session. This is necessary to ensure that you are covered by our insurance during the workparty

Work Parties

Work Parties restarted Saturday 19th September 2015 and are continuing throughout the autumn and winter into Spring 2016.

The plan for this autumn/winter includes:

1. Cut back some tree growth in the pond area, to open up and maintain views from the footbridge and lay-by

2. Clear new growth along the length of the channel.

3. Cut back Willow regrowth, this has been quite vigorous this year. There is also the growth which we also did not manage to cut back last winter before the water returned.

4. Prune any excess growth along the Corehampton/Winchester road paths. Cut back grass overgrowing the path edge. Clear growth around the hedging plants to see if they are likely to recover from the unexpected mowing.

5. Cut back plant growth in the area where the dredging will be done for the "All Year Water" project. Having lost our main source of funding with the closure of the Fairoak landfill site, we are following up other funding so that we can create the area of permanent water next Aug/Sep.

6. Continuing litter collection

7. When the water returns, keep the sluice clear of debris

8. Clean seats and picnic table of algae and lichen

There may be other items to add once we get going on the work.

Work parties are scheduled weekly and an email is sent out to volunteers with the plans for the following Saturday. If bad weather is expected then the workparty may be cancelled. They are morning work parties starting at 10am for 2 to 2.5 hours. Meet at the Corhampton Road lay-by at 10am.

PREVIOUS YEARS WORK PARTIES

Autumn 2014 to Spring 2015.

Work Parties restarted Saturday 11th October 2014 and continued throughout the autumn and winter into Spring 2015. Monthly work parties were also held during the summer to cut the grass and keep the periphery tidy. Regular grass cutting was introduced in conjunction with Bishops Waltham in Bloom.

The work included:

1. Clear new growth along the length of the channel.

2. Cut up the rest of the poplar tree which came down in the Spring storms. Move the heap of branches that we were not able to shred into the pond area and burn it.

3. Cut back the Willow regrowth in the pond area, this has been quite vigorous. There is also the growth which we also did not manage to cut back last winter before the water returned.

4. Prune any excess growth along the Corehampton/Winchester road paths. Cut back new grass growth to the path edge. Clear growth around the hedging plants.

5. Cut back plant growth in the area where the dredging will be done. Because the water stayed all summer we were not able to create the area of permanent water this autumn. It will definitely happen next year, if necessary by using a different approach to the dredging.

6. Continuing litter collection

Autumn 2013 to Spring 2014.

The main workparties started again on Saturday October 5th and continued throughout the autumn and winter into 2014. There were also a few ad-hoc summer work parties.

The original plan was to focus on support of the silt excavation work (which was planning permission and grant dependent). Unfortunately planning permission was not been received until it was too late to proceed that autumn and so we had to reluctantly postpone the silt excavation until late summer 2014 (postponed again as the water stayed all summer). There was however plenty of other work to do:

The overall plan for the autumn/winter included:

1. Cut back the new growth around the periphery, tree branches
and brambles that are approaching the path.

2. In the lay-by area, mark out an area for wild flowers that does
not get cut by the grass contractors and plant more bulbs.

3. Cut back the Willow regrowth in the pond area, this has been quite
vigorous this summer - probably a result of the hot sunny weather

4. Clear some of the area near the Winchester road seat

5. Put up the remaining bird boxes made by the cubs

6. Remove some of the Reed Mace which is encroaching on the
pilot hole (it still contains water)

7. Continue painting railings

8. Continuing litter collection

Autumn 2012 to Spring 2013.

The work parties completed in mid-May, followed by an interim 1-off work party during the summer to tidy the lay-by area.

Although the water level was high during the Spring and work could not be carried out within the pond, there was plenty of work around the periphery

Main areas of the work plan for the Spring were:

1. Further work in the lay-by area :
- Some additional clearing
- Bonfire to burn material cut back previously
- Clean the original seat
- Plants additional bulbs and small trees

2. Check the sluice for debris, clear if necessary:
- This is a regular activity to ensure that the sluice does not become blocked

3. Litter pick:
This (unfortunately) is also a regular weekly activity. Main areas are:
- The plastic bags which get blown into the pond from the recycling in Budgens carpark
- Rubbish thrown from the footbridge (chip papers, plastic drinks bottles, etc)
- Litter dropped, or thrown from cars, around the pond periphery
- Containers of engine oil put over the fence at the end of the Lower Lane carpark
- Cardboard boxes, etc. thrown into the pond

4. Area near the Winchester Road sluice:
- Build the base for the new seat by the sluice
- Install the new seat sponsored by the BW Parish Council
- Clean and repaint the railings by the sluice (both sides of the road)

5.Pond periphery:
- Cut back branches and scrub around the periphery which is growing out towards the pavements - Clean up the seat by the roundabout
- Cut back turf overgrowing the pavement from the pond area

 

Autumn 2011 to Spring 2012:

The work completed included:

  - Cleared the undergrowth north of the footbridge in the channel and up to the fences of the houses
    on St. Bonnet Drive. Continued down the channel to the sluice by B2177 (Winchester Road)

  - Trimmed back willow regrowth from last years work parties. Cut any damaged/ fallen branches or
    trees in the central area of the pond

  - Dug a pilot hole in the silt at the end of the pond near the sluice to gather information for the
    proposal to remove silt from this end of the pond

  - Trimmed the trees to open up the viewing area from the lay-by so that views are possible to the
    Palace ruins

 

Photos from workparties:

Most of the work parties in the autumn/winter 2011/2012 work plan concentrated on clearing the channel

Before we started:

Before    Before

Before

Volunteers in action:

Channel clearing  Channel clearing

Channel clearing  Channel clearing

Channel clearing  Channel clearing

The results:

Channel clearing    Channel clearing

Channel clearing  Channel clearing

Channel clearing  Channel clearing

Channel clearing

 

Previous 2011 Workparties:

Saturday March 12th 10.00am - Work was started on the viewing area near the lay-by. The plan is to open up the views across the pond to the Palace ruins and to install a new seat to sit on to appreciate the views. The work is in two stages, some of it can be completed while there is water in the pond, the rest will need to be completed when the pond is dry again in late summer.

Plans for the lay-by

Saturday February 19th 10.00am - The accumulating logs and debris were cleared from the area around the sluice. The wood had been carried down by the strong flow. Most of the logs cleared had been in the pond for some time (years) as they were partially rotten. Few, if any, resulted from the autumn workparties as that had been burnt or secured into log piles

 

A few photos from 2010 work parties:

You will notice that a lot of work has been done since these pictures were taken in early October 2010

Before and after - work near the footbridge==>

BeforeAfter

Some of the volunteers:

Norman HollandMartin & Tracy

Tracy, David, Russell & Martin

Barry & MartinDavid & Martin