Fleet Pond Restoration Project: Introduction

As you will have noticed, there is a considerable amount of work going on at Fleet Pond at the moment and more is planned for the future.

To keep everyone well-informed, Matthew Johns, of Johns Associates, has kindly offered to write a series of posts on this topic, explaining the background as well as developments as they occur.

If you have any queries on the work being carried out, please leave a comment on this (or any other) post – we’d be delighted to hear from you.

For this introductory post, Matthew Johns writes:

This post is the first of many that will be written to provide an update on the progress of the Fleet Pond Restoration Project.  Its likely that if you are reading this you will be aware of the plans and funding that has been secured to take forward a series of lake restoration works over the coming years.  If not, here is a quick summary.

A Project Steering Group consisting of

  • Hart District Council
  • Fleet Pond Society
  • Natural England
  • Environment Agency
  • The Defence Infrastructure Organisation
  • Johns Associates

have been hard at work identifying opportunities to secure major funding to enable a programme of lake restoration to happen in Fleet Pond.  This builds on the strong efforts of the Fleet Pond Society, the Clearwater Campaign and all of the support and donations made by the people of Fleet and members of the Society.

There is one Fleet Pond Restoration Project and it involves everyone who has an interest in the lake.  A series of funding applications for lake restoration were made and were successful, with future funding bids being prepared already.  Due to the complexity and sensitivity of the works, a range of technical studies and detailed design work had to be completed, together with the need to secure the necessary environmental and planning permissions for the works.

There are clear objectives that have to be met for the funding mainly: restoration of the quality and condition of the lake part of Fleet Pond Site of Special Scientific Interest and to improve the water quality of the lake to assist in its meeting the requirements for ‘Good Ecological Potential’ under the EU Water Framework Directive.

Clearly, there are a wide range of other related objectives and the restoration project is aiming to deliver as broad a suite of improvements as possible, whilst still meeting the core objectives.

Fleet Pond restoration works that have been granted permission and have funding at the time of writing include:

  • dredging some of the lake sediment and re-use this (rather than pay for off site disposal) to create a series of small islands that will be used as new habitats (as well as a number of other benefits).
  • diverting some of the flow from the Gelvert Stream into a new channel (partly reusing an existing ditch) and into features designed to trap silt and allow it to be more easily managed.

A lake-wide master plan is being developed and is hoped this will have planning permission by the summer of 2012.  At the same time, more funding may have been secured to deliver a greater range of restoration works including further dredging and lake depth increases, restoration of the lower Brookly Stream, creation of areas with less bottom feeding fish and protection from grazing wildfowl to maximise the chance of aquatic plant recovery.

Johns Associates is supporting the Clearwater Campaign with the delivery of important and specific restoration proposals with funds raised so far through the campaign and these works should be ready for action during 2012.  This will also identify other areas where Campaign funds can be focused to make a real difference to the lake.

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