Category Archives: Events

Fleet Film and Fleet Pond

David Pottinger writes:

I’m a member of Fleet Film and regularly attend their (very impressive) showings. The last time I was there, prior to the main and short film, they showed a captivating slide show of different places in Fleet. Quite a few featured Fleet Pond (see above and below), so why not keep a look out the next time you’re at Fleet Film and, if you’ve not been to the Pond for a while, perhaps also pay a visit?

You can find out about the screenings at Fleet Film as well as view clips of the films by going to their web site here. There is also a lively feedback section on views on the various films. Fleet Film is a BFI Neighbourhood Cinema (see here).

The first film in 2018 is on Monday 8 January and is the Norwegian film The Wave. Annual membership of Fleet Film is £45 and covers 18 films.

If you would like to support Fleet Pond Society, details and benefits of annual membership can be found here.

Credits: photos courtesy of Brian Biffin.

FPS Photo Competition 2017 – Deadline 7th January

Reminder!

The theme for the 2017 Fleet Pond Society (FPS) Photographic Competition is:

‘Beauty and the not so…’

This year’s theme is a “warts and all” celebration of all aspects of Fleet Pond Nature Reserve from the beautiful to the still eye-catching but not so cute. This interesting theme leaves a lot to your imagination and interpretation!

The rules of the competition are:

  • Entry is open to all amateur photographers and there is no entry fee.
  • All photographs must have been taken at Fleet Pond Nature Reserve.
  • The taking of photographs using drones or aerial cameras is prohibited.
  • All entries must be received by 7th January 2018 (up to 4 photographs per person).

The “Photographer of the Year” will receive the annually awarded Rose Bowl, which was donated by Fleet Photographic.

Please note that all photographs may be used by FPS for any purpose it chooses.

Please send your entries by email to photocomp@fleetpond.org.uk

All photographs that are received will be acknowledged and the winners will be announced at the FPS AGM in February 2018. In the unlikely case that there is no acknowledgment, please resend.

To see the results of previous competitions, please take a look at the FPS web site (under the Photography tab at the top).

Season’s Greetings To All Our Readers

Many thanks for the interest you’ve shown in Fleet Pond Blog this year. We’ve been fortunate in having had over 177,000 visits since it started in July 2008!

We’ve lots of ideas for posts for 2018 that we hope you’ll find interesting, so please stay tuned. Also, if you have any requests for topics, we’d be very happy to hear from you…

Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Volunteer Event This Sunday, 10 December

Fleet Pond Ranger, Nick Mafarlane, plus Sunday volunteers (October event)

There will be a volunteer event at Fleet Pond this coming Sunday and all are welcome to attend (see below for registering). To give a flavour, pictures from a previous event can be found here.

On Sunday 10 December we will be doing further work to widen the link between Fugelmere Marsh, Bog Myrtle Glade and Wood Lane Heath.   This will allow easier access and flyways for flying insects and bats boosting diversity of food sources. Soil here can be very wet and muddy so wellingtons are recommended or strong waterproof boots.

This is our last task before Christmas so we would welcome festive food contributions to put us all in good (non-alcoholic) spirits! A warm drink as usual will be provided mid-morning.

We meet as usual at the Countryside Workshop, Old Pump House Close, Fleet, GU51 3DN at 9.00 a.m. Please park in Kenilworth Road as parking is very restricted at the workshop.

For further information and booking for this event (which is essential as tools and resources have to be planned beforehand), please contact Hart Countryside Services:

Phone: 01252 623443
 Email: countryside@hart.gov.uk

The Sunday volunteer tasks are supervised by a Hart Countryside Ranger together with members of Fleet Pond Society.

Volunteer Event This Sunday, 5 November

There will be a volunteer event at Fleet Pond this coming Sunday and all are welcome to attend (see below for registering).

The task for Sunday will be the clearing of scrub and having a seasonal bonfire on The Dry Heath by the nature reserve car park. We expect to have potatoes to bake as a reward for all the good work!

Warm waterproof boots are recommended but wellingtons should not be necessary.

We meet as usual at the Countryside Workshop, Old Pump House Close, Fleet, GU51 3DN at 9.15 a.m. Please park in Kenilworth Road as parking is very restricted at the workshop.

For further information and booking for this event (which is essential as tools and resources have to be planned beforehand), please contact Hart Countryside Services:

Phone: 01252 623443
 Email: countryside@hart.gov.uk

The Sunday volunteer tasks are supervised by a Hart Countryside Ranger together with members of Fleet Pond Society.

Here are some photos of volunteers from the previous event on Sunday 8 October:

Volunteer Event This Sunday, 8 October

There will be a volunteer event at Fleet Pond this coming Sunday and all are welcome to attend (see below for registering).

The task for Sunday 8th October is clearance of scrub and saplings from Coldstream Marsh. This can be a wet and muddy area so wellingtons or strong waterproof boots are recommended.

We meet as usual at the Countryside Workshop, Old Pump House Close, Fleet, GU51 3DN at 9.15 a.m. Please park in Kenilworth Road as parking is very restricted at the workshop.

For further information and booking for this event (which is essential as tools and resources have to be planned beforehand), please contact Hart Countryside Services:

Phone: 01252 623443
 Email: countryside@hart.gov.uk

The Sunday volunteer tasks are supervised by a Hart Countryside Ranger together with members of Fleet Pond Society.

FPS Volunteers Help Out At Horsell Common

Heather Farm Wetland and Cafe at Horsell Common

On 1st September, a team of volunteers from Fleet Pond Society (FPS) visited Horsell Common, near Woking in Surrey, to carry out a volunteer task.

The FPS team sitting on the (wooden) alligator (see picture above)

Colin Gray, Chairman of Fleet Pond Society, explains the interesting history of Horsell Common as well as the reasons for the visit from FPS:

Originally Horsell Common was part of Windsor Great Park and was known as King’s Waste, until, like most of the Park, it eventually passed into local ownership. The owner was the Lord of the Manor of Pyrford, the Earl of Onslow, who allowed it to be used by the local residents for grazing, firewood collection and open recreation, while making an income from the sandpit and forestry. An early 18th century map shows the Commons as “Hoswell Heath” and a later map as “Horsehill Heath”.

The 1806 Enclosures Act refers to enclosures of lands in the Manor of Pyrford… “Commons and Wastelands within the manor…shall not divide let out, allot or enclosed, or in any manner interfere with the several commons and wastelands within the Parish of Horsell…but that the same shall be and remain in the same state and condition as if this act was not passed.”

In 1904 the Lord of the Manor was finding it difficult to stop despoliation of the Commons under his ownership. An attempt to get the Horsell populace to vote in a referendum, on “whether our Commons shall be preserved and protected”, or whether they “shall be left as now, to be the sport of Incendiaries, the Common receptacle of all kinds of refuse… and a camping ground for Gypsies”, was inconclusive.

This failure and letters in the Times and other papers instigated a scheme to “invest with the necessary authority some person or persons resident near each of my commons” and in 1910 the Horsell Common Preservation Committee held its first meeting.

Lord Onslow suggested he hand over the common entirely to the committee as early as 1920 but no action was taken. Years later the question of acquiring the Common by the Committee was again raised, and the lease of the common from Lord Onslow was signed in 1947, and in 1959, the Society gained charitable status. The Society finally purchased the freehold of the Common in 1966 for £1,634.

Since then, 24 acres of riverside meadows at Bourne Fields have been added, and a further 50 acres of farmland at Bonsey, previously known as Mizen’s Farm, have been taken into management.

In total the Society owns and manages over 830 acres and is the largest landowner in the Borough.

In 2017, Rachel Jones joined the management team for Horsell Common. Rachel had been a very popular ranger at Fleet Pond Nature Reserve, liked and respected by the many volunteers at the Reserve. She loved our pond and did volunteer work with Fleet Pond Society in addition to her Hart Ranger role. FPS ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ volunteers decided it would be an excellent idea to spend a day working with Rachel at Horsell.

On 1st September nine of us went to Horsell and spent a fun time getting very muddy clearing willow and reedmace from a small pond built as a pond dipping area for children. Rachel was delighted to welcome old friends from Fleet Pond and grateful for our help reopening the pond for visiting children to use.

Another picture of the FPS team (plus Rachel, lower row middle)

Read more about Horsell Common Preservation Society at www.horsellcommon.org.uk

Ed. A part of Horsell Common (known as the Sandpit) is well-known internationally for quite another reason (see here):

Local author H G Wells who lived in Maybury used the Sandpit as the landing site for Martian space craft in his novel “War of the Worlds”. Today it is still a site of pilgrimage for many science fiction fans that travel from all over the world.

Sunday Volunteer Events 2017-18

Now that autumn is approaching, you may be thinking of starting some new activities and getting some fresh air and exercise at the same time? If so, why not consider joining us on our Sunday volunteering events at Fleet Pond?

We’re a very friendly bunch and there’s even free coffee/tea/chocolate and munchies at a mid-morning break 🙂 Sometimes there are even hot potatoes as a special treat!

Typically events start at c 9:30 and last to c 12:30. No skills or prior knowledge is required and you’ll also be making a great contribution to the local environment. If interested, please contact the Hart Rangers as described in the poster above.

Here are the details of the tasks up to the end of the year (see map below for locations):

  • September 10th: Fugelmere Marsh – digging out Alder saplings/scrub. No bonfire.
  • October 8th: Coldstream Marsh – scrub bash willow/alder scrub with a bonfire.
  • November 5th: Dry Heath – scrub clearance with a bonfire
  • December 10th: Wood Lane Heath – expand wildlife corridor between the heath and Bog Myrtle Glade with a bonfire

Map of Fleet Pond

Here are some photos from previous events:

The mid-morning break and time for a chat and catchup

Hot potatoes are sometimes a special treat

 

Capturing the Spirit of Fleet Pond

The Fleet Pond Society Photographic Competition is underway, why not think of submitting one or two entries? The theme is:

‘Beauty and the not so…’

This year’s theme is a “warts and all” celebration of all aspects of Fleet Pond Nature Reserve from the beautiful to the still eye-catching but not so cute. This interesting theme leaves a lot to your imagination and interpretation!

For general inspiration, here are some great photos of different aspects of Fleet Pond that have been posted on Twitter over the last six months (see the FPS Twitter feed here for these and many other interesting photos):

Credit: Colin Stock

Credit: MummyBarrow

Credit: Chris Marney

Credit: Mark Bishop

Credit: Richard Handyside