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Update on Ashtead Pond ... and Ashtead Park

Everyone seems to be much happier with the state of our pond this year.

Your Independent Councillors fought hard to get it dredged and cleared and it is now a much deeper and more stable body of water for wildfowl and other animals. Some dead trees have been removed, some have fallen down, and many have been pollarded to reduce their canopies. This all ensures that less water is extracted by foliage and more light is able to get to the water.

Some areas around the pond edge have been cleared to allow more access for people, while some of the edge has been left somewhat unkempt to allow birds to hide away during nesting.

After a very long period of neglect, the Council now has a five year management plan in place and more pollarding will be carried out in the coming autumn. It is important to have some tangle of undergrowth around the edges to enhance species richness of the whole habitat, but some areas will be more managed so that people can get closer to the water.

It was wonderful to see a pair of swans taking up residence this year but it is concerning that one has gone missing. It is possible that it has come to some harm but this need not be the case. It is known that one of a pair may simply go exploring and return later. Let us hope that ours comes back soon.

Your Independent Councillors will continue to work closely with Mole Valley District Council Officers to make sure that pond remains a treasure and asset rather than an eyesore.

Ashtead Park

The Council and volunteers have made great strides in clearing encroaching saplings and bramble this year. Parts of the Park are beginning to resemble what it was intended to be – an area with specimen trees and open vistas and walkways.

There is still an enormous amount of work to be done, and your Independent Councillors will remain in close contact with the Officers in the Parks Department to monitor progress and give help.

There will be more opportunities for volunteers to get hands-on experience at conservation work in the Park later in the year, and we will make sure that everyone is informed so that they can be part of the project.


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