The Fishponds working party went ahead on Sunday 2nd December, as planned, despite showery weather which worsened as the morning wore on. Around ten volunteers turned up and set to, managing between them to clear the dipping platform at the pond itself; improve access to the boardwalk by using the hoggin in the car park; strim the spinney; shift barrowloads of wood chip to put down around the saplings to help suppress future nettle growth; clear overgrown vegetation; rake leaves in the picnic area at the car park; litter pick – the list went on! We also had an experienced drystone waller turn up, who along with a couple of willing helpers (one of whom has been on a walling course) was able to partially restore a short length of the wall, which looks fantastic and shows how it could look if we had the time/manpower to do more. I'm hoping it might have whetted some appetites...
Many thanks indeed to Hazel & David, Chris, Robin, Adrian, Margaret, Ann, Gav, David & family, and Tim for all their hard work, despite the rather changeable weather. I'm always humbled by people's willingness to get stuck in, for nothing other than a chocolate biscuit or two and a sense of satisfaction for having helped to maintain a beautiful area. Thanks, everyone. On the same note, a passer-by walked into the car park with her dog as we were packing up and said it was the Fishponds which helped to make her mind up about moving to the village a couple of years ago. She took the trouble to thank us and said she's aware that Parish Councils often receive criticism but rarely praise. It was very nice to hear.
We have a maintenance plan in place for the Fishponds up to 2025, but we are looking beyond this towards the long-term future and would be interested to hear your views on what improvements you would like to see at the site, or what projects you would like us to consider. Please do let me know if you have any ideas.
If you would like your name added to my "volunteer list" for future working parties, please drop me an email.
All the best, Sue Osborne