Friday, 4 April 2014

Fleet Pond Memorial Benches

We need your help!

The Countryside Service are trying to track down the sponsors of any of the memorial benches around the pond, especially in the Hemelite Bay area.

If you are a sponsor, or you know anyone who is, please contact us by emailing or calling 01252 623443.

Thank you

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Spring has Sprung

While out and about in Church Crookham yesterday tree surveying, I couldn't help but notice how many trees and scrub were coming in to flower. There are some really showy Magnolia's and Cherries in private gardens, and Blackthorn, Goat Willow, Apple, Pear and Cherry in hedgerows and on Hart-owned spaces. 

One of my favourites is the Japanese Cherry with pink, double flowers. This is Prunus serrulata 'Kanzans'. 

Alongside other Cherries they look like sticks of Candy Floss with twice as many flowers. While not native, the flowers provide an important source of nectar in the early spring which encourages bees and butterflies to be drawn to them. I did notice a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly  on a Goat Willow flower but it flew off before I managed to get my camera to it. 

Many of the Cherries flowering now will bear fruit later on in the year. Some of these are quite edible although the native Cherry, Prunus avium, is incredibly sour and most people find them foul, however I am quite partial to these for some reason! 

Ranger Adam 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Conservation Grazing on Fugelmere Marsh

Despite very boggy conditions the fencing has been completed at Sandy Bay, Fleet Pond. Now this area will be able to regenerate as an extension to the rare marsh/wetland habitat and will allow rare breed cattle to help with the future conservation management of Fugelmere Marsh.

Lord Wandsworth Students Get Stuck In!

Students from Lord Wandsworth College cleared the footpath last Friday from the canal on to Odiham Common.

They helped rangers Rach and Will get stuck in to clearing the thorny scrub and brambles that were encroaching on the path right up to the fence line. We are very grateful for all their efforts.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Another great turnout for the Fleet Pond Society Volunteer Day on Sunday

Wow, what amazing weather we had! We were all rewarded with Brimstone and Peacock butterflies, and we counted up to 15 Herons flying over the islands.

The aim was to clear as much brash as possible from along the footpaths at Fleet Pond. These extra branches and logs were from the recent storms and previous volunteer parties. With the logs the team made log piles in the woods which will be valuable dead wood for insects. The brash was pulled out of the eastern marsh, thankfully the area is now just about dry enough to venture out there! Terry and Nick worked on the viewpoint and it's looking great! There was lots of interest from passers by.

We also had a team out on Fuglemere Marsh burning all the brash, some dragged from the marsh and some from nearby footpaths. We also reduced the huge pile off the dry heath.

There is still much to clear and tidy but this was a really great effort from all and we are very grateful to all our volunteers.

Bye for now, Ranger Rach.

Monday, 3 March 2014

BT Volunteer Day at Fleet Pond

Last Friday British Telecom came to Fleet Pond to help with the conservation work as part of their giving back to the community volunteer work.

They worked especially hard clearing a large portion of the encroaching Birch saplings off the heathland habitat. They enjoyed being out of the office and in the outdoors doing a valuable task.

The Fleet Pond Society were also working at incredible speed erecting the new Eastern Viewpoint platform. We all worked as one large team as some of the BT volunteers got stuck into digging out the new pathway to the view point in preparation for the surfacing that will go on top making it accessible for all.

Ranger Rachel was very grateful for all their hard work despite the showers!

Bye for now, Ranger Rach.

Monday, 10 February 2014

The Fleet Pond Society Sunday Volunteers

Despite a VERY poor stormy forecast we still had a great turnout for the FPS Sunday!

A few new people worked really hard and got stuck in as part of the team.

We had 3 tasks going on so there was lots of choice.

The main task was clearing bramble and branches off the old fence line along the North Eastern track.

A fair lot of pine saplings were also pulled up on the railway heath and more work was done to the Eastern Viewpoint by laying more sleepers. 

A great fire burnt up previously cut scrub and the pine trees that Fujitsu had cleared
were tractor and tailored over by Geoff and Carol with helpers to pop on the fire.

Michael and David Buckler managed the fire and we all got hot spuds at the end (Thanks Mavis).
Oh and Terry's portable oven!

A huge thanks to all involved and please remember to book in with Rach if you want to come on the next meeting (A few days before at least thank you).

Ranger Rach