Community levy helps Ashtead’s messy pond

Ashtead’s village pond is to benefit form the Community Infrastructure Levy.

Thanks to the levy on planning application Mole Valley District Council is aiming to use some of the community funds to tidy up Ashtead’s “messy” pond.

For years, Ashtead residents have struggled to get a good view of one of the village’s best natural assets because of the uncontrolled growth of reeds, sedges, and willow bushes.

Last year, there was a major attempt to clear the northern margin but, unfortunately, the remediation attempt failed and so it became clear that a more extensive solution was needed.

When the pond was last dredged, the resulting silt was dumped along the northern edge and held back by a wattle revetment. The dredged material was then planted with very vigorous plants that grew so dense and tall that the water was completely obscured from view. Over the years, the revetment has broken down and the silt is now slumping back into the pond.

Ashtead Common Independent Councillor Patricia Wiltshire has been lobbying the Council to have the deposits removed properly, for the edges to be appropriately planted with attractive marginal and aquatic plants, and for the trees to be checked and pollarded to make them safe.

To resolve the problem Council Officers have now applied for Community Infrastructure Levy funding to pay for proper remediation.

Councillor Wiltshire said, “Officers have planned the work to be carried out this summer but I have stressed that the work must take account of bird nesting and its effects on any other wildlife”.

“After this long period of being hidden from view, and then being left with a very messy edge, let us hope that our pond will be restored and once more be a boon to our village,” said Councillor Wiltshire.