Wildlife will be saved with work to refurbish a pond at Bishop’s Waltham

Volunteers have been working hard throughout the year at the North Pond site
Volunteers have been working hard throughout the year at the North Pond site
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Lots of donations and volunteers get the All Year Water project off the ground at North Pond

THE REFURBISHMENT of a pond is due to start next week following donations from the community.

North Pond, near the centre of Bishop’s Waltham, is the focus of the All Year Water project set up by the North Pond Conservation Group.

Every year the pond dries up and this has a major impact on wildlife. In particular, hundreds of fish die after becoming stranded as water levels drop.

The solution is to take silt from the southern end of the pond so there will always be a permanent area of water. This excavated silt will be moved and used to create a public viewing area.

Barry Jerome, the chairman of the North Pond Conservation Group said: ‘This project will make an enormous difference and it has only been possible with the support of volunteers and the many people and organisations who made donations.’

Community volunteers have been working throughout the year to get the ground near the pond ready for the diggers. They have also saved the project the money it would have cost to hire people to clear the site.

Eric Birbeck, a volunteer who has lived in the village for more than 30 years, said: ‘North Pond is an essential, historical part of the town. Being part of the volunteer group means much to me as a resident.’

Local people, businesses and organisations have been donating through a crowdfunding website. The project has received 77 per cent of its £25,200 target, with more than two months left to reach the final goal. Year Six students from Bishop’s Waltham Junior School raised nearly £150 with a cake sale.

A member of a family that donated said: ‘It would be lovely to see the pond with water in it all year round. It would be so much better for our wildlife.’

Work on the site is expected to take 10-12 days. The bank will then be left to settle for two to three months, before half is developed into a public area with seating and the other half into a wildflower meadow.

For volunteering visit bwnpcg.org.uk or to donate visit mydonate.bt.com/events/allyearwater.