Fleet Pond’s new Countryside Ranger, Louise Greenwood writes:
I am very excited to be joining the team at Hart District Council as the new Countryside Ranger at Fleet Pond. I have been working in a similar role for Surrey County Council looking after 25 sites around North Surrey and South London. I went to University in Reading, so spent a lot of time bird watching around the local area and received a first class honours in Zoology. I am a keen natural historian and especially interested in the insects that can be found around the pond. I am looking forward to taking on the new challenges of working at Fleet pond. There are exciting times ahead.
New Grazing Enclosure
Livestock are going to be grazing Fugelmere marsh as of next year. We are installing a new grazing enclosure which will include Fugelmere marsh, Fugelmere wood and Alder wood. Grazing maintains a mosaic of vegetation this is important to provide a wide range of habitats for wetland species. Clearance work will start in September.
Gelvert Stream Diversion
Silt accumulation is a big problem at Fleet pond this is a result of silt travelling into the pond via the streams. We will be tackling the underlying cause by diverting the Gelvert stream through the Coldstream ditch where it will eventually feed into coldstream marsh. It is hoped this will dramatically reduce the amount of silt entering the pond and stop the footpaths flooding during high rainfall.
Brookly Reedbed Restoration
This winter we will be clearing the scrub and cutting the reeds in Brookly reedbed. The reedbeds at fleet pond are designated as a priority habitat in the UK and are home to important plants and animals. Bird species such as the Reed Warbler and Reed Buntings are known to nest in the reedbeds every year in good numbers. However over the years if left unmanaged the habitat is lost due to the encroachment of trees and scrub from the surrounding woodland, these create shade as well as drawing up the water from the wetland. Reedbeds are maintained by reed cutting, the reed is cut to encourage the new growth and to reduce the accumulation of old dying reed within the reedbed.
Looking forward to seeing you around the pond!