This short film, Brightening the Brookly Stream, shows our volunteers at work with Fleet Pond Ranger Sam, clearing encroaching vegetation from the banks of the Brookly Stream and woods to enable more light to reach the stream bed, promoting greater diversity of aquatic and woodland plants.
For much of its course, the Brookly Stream is artificially straight, culverted and heavily shaded. We have an opportunity in the section we help to manage to take steps to encourage the establishment of a range of aquatic plants and to diversify stream flow and depth. Such habitat will benefit a wide range of flora and fauna.
The work we undertook was agreed with Hart Countryside Services and is listed in its Autumn/Winter 2019 maintenance program. Strimming was restricted to one bank for much of the section between the confluence with Fleet Pond and Avondale Road.
In July 1979, Carnival Bridge was built over the culvert that takes water from the main pond into the small pond (now owned by the Heron on the Lake).
One of the main ambitions of the newly formed Fleet Pond Society had been to install a footpath around the full circuit of Fleet Pond. The bridge provided the final link in the creation of the circular path we still use. Walkers would no longer need to climb the railway embankment at Fleet station and scramble down again at Boathouse Corner.
Work on the construction of the footpath had begun in 1978 using timber sleepers and infilled with broken blocks donated by the Hemelite Company, then based on the Industrial Estate by Fleet Station (now the Waterfront Business Park). Two ex-army steel pontoons were used to ship blocks along the path as the construction progressed.
By 2011, Carnival Bridge was showing serious corrosion, and the concrete supports were cracking. The bridge was removed and replaced with the timber bridge we use today. The old Carnival Bridge played too important a role in Fleet Pond history to be scrapped, and it now serves as the access bridge from Wood Lane.
Thank you to the Fleet branch of Waitrose for promoting the Fleet Pond Society in its monthly green token collection during May as part of the company’s Community Matters Scheme.
Waitrose donated £322 to the Society, thanks to all the shoppers who put their green tokens into the Fleet Pond Society pot.
Fleet Pond is currently enjoying a spell of clarity thanks to the clear water creatures shown in this film.
The Pond’s water often appears cloudy. There are two main reasons for this: the quantity of fine silt transported by the two inflow streams and the number of algae in the lake. At present (April 2019), the water looks clear. Water quality of the inflow streams is currently satisfactory, but also the quantity of phytoplankton (algae) in the water column is low. This is because it’s grazed by a bloom of zooplankton. Zooplankton is made up of many types of microscopic animals; the largest and most obvious are the cladocerans, tiny crustaceans sometimes referred to as water fleas.
The relationship between phytoplankton and zooplankton is dynamic – populations of both will bloom and crash during the year depending on environmental and climatic factors.
Fleet Pond Society’s long-term aim is to replace the constantly changing algal population with a more stable community of rooted aquatic plants.
The Friday morning volunteers, nicknamed the Last of the Summer Wine team, undertake a range of conservation and maintenance tasks at the Pond each week.
In this short film, they’re replacing a bridge that crosses a ditch near Brookly Wood. There are a number of small bridges around the Pond that make it easier for the public to explore Fleet Pond Nature Reserve. The team regularly replace or repair these bridges and whenever possible, make the various routes around the Pond more accessible for wheelchair users and those on mobility scooters or pushing young children in buggies.