Duckpond Restoration [Updated]

[box type=”note”]UPDATED: 11 September 2013[/box]

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What do you like about the pond?
What are we doing about it?

The Parish Council have obtained a grant to regenerate the pond. This is a great opportunity to improve the water quality, to improve wildlife habitat, do more planting and improve access so that it becomes an attractive, relaxing area used both by the local community and by visitors to the village.

We have been advised that we should clear many of the trees overhanging the pond to let in more light and decrease leaf fall into the water. We should also install a sump to filter the run-off water from the road. So, after we have carried out an initial wildlife survey, don’t be surprised to see trees being felled and holes being dug.

Plan for tree removal

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View a larger version

Then we will be in a position to drain the pond and clear out the muck so we can let it fill up with fresh water, which will improve its quality. At the same time we will create shallow planted margin areas around the pond.

Our next step now is to design :

  • new planting
  • where to install new seats and benches
  • a new house for the ducks
  • possibly a wildlife information point

Pictures from the removal

Upham Pond before tree removal

Upham Pond before tree removal

Upham Pond after tree removal

Upham Pond after tree removal

How can you help?

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Share your memories of the pond

Use the comments sections below to leave your comments about the pond.

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Join our WORKING PARTY

We plan to hold this over the May bank Holiday weekend, May 4th/5th. This will be a chance for everyone who cares about our pond to come along for just an hour or a whole day, to help with the restoration.

Save this date, more details will follow.

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To fence or not to fence, that is the question?

Old photographs show the pond being open to the road. The pond is currently fenced off, although there is a gate to give access to the seats by the pond. The fence is at the end of its life and the options are:

  • To replace with a new fence
  • To replace with a row of ‘dragon’s teeth’ that will still prevent cars from driving onto the area. This is shown on the sketch.

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Pond Gallery

17 comments on “Duckpond Restoration [Updated]

  1. Judith Carrie on

    I think its important to keep the natural appearance and quiet restful feel, better seating would be good and the fence is off putting

    Reply
  2. Cyn Kimble on

    I asked my two grandsons who have been regular visitors to the duckpond since birth and they gave two suggestions:
    Could we have an information board to tell us what kind of wildlife things we can find in and near the pond (apart from ducks)? It would have to be low down so children could read it – perhaps on the fence?
    Could there be a tub of food suitable to feed the ducks with kept near one of the seats? (This is probably because he gets very fed up when I won’t let him throw more bread into the pond wnen the ducks aren’t interested – even though I think he now understands that it makes the water mucky.)

    Reply
  3. Heather Maidment on

    Having just started to keep ducks myself, I have learnt that feeding bread to ducks
    is very bad for them, and can potentially kill them, if not already being done please
    can efforts be made to make the public aware,

    Reply
  4. Cyn Kimble on

    I was thinking about the duckpond last night. Sad, I know but I blame over excitement at our brilliant website – what a means of communication – and over exposure to grandchildren!
    Firstly, if there is to be a “duckpond restoration group” I’d like to volunteer to be on it, offering enthusiasm and no expertise!
    Secondly, thinking ahead a bit, when the restoration is complete could we organise a children’s activity session in celebration – wildlife spotting and identifying and recording* followed by a picnic perhaps? Perhaps such sessions could become a seasonal feature? Educational fun, food fun, social fun which would maybe give our children a sense of responsibility for the pond and the rest of our lovely surroundings.
    * All put on the website of course!

    Reply
  5. Mo Peters on

    Is there an optimum number of ducks for a pond this size? It seems quite well populated and this may be contributing to the murkiness of the water. Plants to help break down waste in the water? No fence would be great. Perhaps a design competition at the school for a new duck house? I’m not an Uphamite but would love to be involved.

    Reply
  6. Cyn Kimble on

    I have been doing a bit of research on peoples’ memories of the pond over the years – very pleasant as it involves drinking lots of tea and chatting. Robin Hunt remembers that the pond at Stakes farm often dried up in the summer long before Upham duckpond.. A chap who Robin remembers as “Cooky” used to bring a horse and cart with a water butt to the pond entrance at the top of Stakes Lane, fill the butt with a bucket and take it down to Stakes. Surely this is what is shown in the left handside photo? Does anyone remember “Cooky’s” real name?

    Robin also said that he thinks the quality of the pond was originally ruined when the drain was installed down Shoe Lane from Newlyns Farm and cow dung and waste from the farmyard entered the pond. He remembers Dave Stubbington who was Rob Annels’ pigman and Ted Stubbington, the road sweeper used to scrape all the mud and muck off the clay lining of the pond when it dried up. Could the other photo depict the end of such an occasion?

    And finally the geese! Apparently, Rob Annels used to bring different varieties of geese and ducks from the market. They used to wander over to the pig farm for food and shelter at night. Rob used their eggs and periodically “culled” them for eating. Eventually Rob got rid of the geese as the ganders were quite vicious and people complained.Sue Hunt remembers her daughter, Karen, being terrified of the geese when she was little and Jane Ashe remembers being concerned about braving them with Daniel in the pushchair so they must still have been there in the 1980s.

    There were guinea fowl, too, at some time. They used to roost in the pine trees on the farm side of the road.

    It would be great if anyone could add to these memories!

    Reply
    • Cyn Kimble on

      I just love it when pieces of memory come together like a jigsaw puzzle. Robbie Massey says his mother remembers, ” Mr. Cooke (Teddy Bear) was the Carter at The Farm and the cart horse was called Major. He used to have bread and cheese for his lunch every day and used to feed the cats. I think that in the picture it is Uncle Rob’s horse, Polly, though – he used to get water, too. The cart horses were much bigger!”
      Lou and Don Yeates who used to live in 1, Shoe Lane remember Don working with Ted Cooke at the farm so Ted Cooke must be our man and Polly our horse!
      Lou and Don also remember that Bob Maidment who worked for Mrs Potts at Upham House used to let the young people play table tennis and snooker in the big barn behind the bungalow.

      Reply
  7. Derek Cheshire on

    The pond plan shows that the number of trees will, of necessity, be reduced and thereby expose more of the pondsides. This could look rather harsh with an abrupt transition between pond edge and the sloping grass covered embankment.

    I have often wondered why we admire ‘flat’ grass landscaping and wonder if thought could be given to allowing the native plants to establish themselves around the perimeter and up the embankment.
    This might moderate the exposed shape of the pond and provide a healthy habitat for the native fauna. If nature had it’s way we might see this established over time.
    The Natural History Museum’s postcode database might provide a starting point.
    This is their link:

    http://www.nhm.ac.uk/fff-pcp/glob.pl?report=pcfllist&group=&sort=&inpostcode=So32

    Thanks to Cyn for her thoughtful research.

    Reply
  8. Keith Dalley on

    I would be very interested in joining your committee group and offer to build a new Duck House where I would offer materials and labour at no cost to the Village.

    My details are:

    Keith Dalley
    Foggy Bottom Cottage
    1 Upham Street
    Lower Upham

    Tele home 01489 860173
    E-mail Home: keith.dalley@btinternet.com

    Regards Keith

    Reply
  9. Gwyn Halsall on

    Definitely prefer the ‘dragon’s teeth’ proposal to the fence. It looks much nicer and would make the pond feel more like part of the village.
    Love the drawings too but would prefer the map to be the other way up!

    Reply
  10. Keith Dalley on

    The new Duck House is nearly finished. Just some wood filling to hide some of the design errors and then the final wood preservative. A question though and is the perservative safe for the ducks?

    I have a photo record of the build if anyone is interested.

    Can someone remind me when the next working session is on the Pond as we need to agree a launch date.

    Keith

    Reply

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