January Volunteer Event – Icy Times! (Updated)


Picture: An Iced-Over Fleet Pond Plus Two Keen Runners!

The Volunteer Event on Sunday 11 January had a really good turnout, helped considerably by a sizeable contingent from Fleet Wildlife Explorers (WEX for short) which is a junior section of the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds).

Their leaders are Jonathan Mist (founder) and Andy Golder and further information on them can be found here (including an email contact address, see under Events). As it happens they are on the lookout for new leaders so if you are interested, please get in touch with Jonathan!


Picture: A Really Good Turnout!

It was a very pleasant day, blue skies and mild, and the task was to cut back saplings (seen in the background). I’ve posted many pictures of this before – this time I’ll include the final aspect, the treatment of the stumps (so that they don’t grow again).


Picture: Treated Sapling Stumps

The cut saplings are brought together in a couple of heaps and fires started (as described in a previous post). Before the site can be left, any remaining fires need to be dowsed for obvious reasons. Normally this is not a problem as water can be taken straight from the pond but on this occasion this was not possible and was instead taken from a bordering marsh area.


Picture: Extracting Water From A Marsh

The next volunteer event will be on Sunday 8 February 2009.

Important Update:

A reader has kindly pointed out that there seems to be an apparent contradiction between requesting people not to go on the ice at Fleet Pond and then showing a picture where a member of a volunteer event might be construed as doing just that! To clarify matters, I’ll give some further details that were omitted in the original post to keep it to a reasonable length. My apologies for any unintentional misunderstandings this may have caused.

The explanation is actually quite interesting and brings in other topics discussed in previous posts.

The ‘Stay Off The Ice’ post arose from a request from the Pond Ranger. This was because members of the public were seen skating on the ice (sometimes unaccompanied and far from the bank), clearly potentially a dangerous activity. The post was put up to remind people of the dangers of skating and also that it is actually illegal thereby hopefully avoiding a serious incident.

The picture of the person about to gather water to extinguish the volunteer event fires was taken at a marsh that borders Fleet Pond. The general public are not allowed into this marsh area and it is clearly fenced off. The person in the picture has permission to go into this restricted area as it contains a dipwell and he (and a colleague) measure water levels there on a weekly basis throughout the year (more details given here). They both know the area well and are fully aware of any areas of risk.

I hope this explanation clarifies matters. In summary, suitable care and attention need to be taken at all times, in all areas.

I have also amended the last paragraph of the original post and changed the title of the last picture to make things a little clearer.

0 thoughts on “January Volunteer Event – Icy Times! (Updated)

  1. Given the recent requests for people to stay off of the frozen surface of the pond, one would think that perhaps the last photo in your report may be deemed a little inappropriate/irresponsible, however well intentioned?

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