The Friends of Haddon Wood

Everything interesting we can think of about Alhampton's community woodland. To leave a comment on a post, click on its title and scroll down…

The pond is complete …you can’t miss it!

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Yes, it’s a pond that, at the moment, thinks it’s a reservoir …or at least that’s how it looks to me. I hasten to add, that isn’t a negative, more an observation.

I’ve been holding off from writing this post in the unrealistic hope that I’d be able to accompany it with an attractive picture, but that isn’t going to happen in the near future – at least at my skill level. Having said that, the topsoil, back in place round the edges and covering the banks, is starting to green up already, specially from a distance and committee members have scattered pond-specific wildflower seed around – quite a lot in fact, but we thought it worth raiding the budget for.

The great thing is that there’s water collecting in the bottom already, by now all round the island and filling the three deeper pools.

I say great thing and it is, because that’s the point after all, but what none of us took into account from the beginning – and it’s one that makes me more than grumpy – is that our wildlife pond would be adopted as a handy, regular swimming pond for dogs. This was never the idea and whilst we thought it possible that one or two might flop in to cool off occasionally in future years, it simply never occurred to us that, if we put up yards of tape and clear notices asking people to stay off the area – for goodness sake, the place is big enough without it! – while soil settled and seed germinated, that people would ignore the request and any possible reasons behind it and follow their own agenda. Naive? Obviously!

To be fair there have been only a few transgressors, probably not in the Friends group and who almost certainly won’t read this, but they have been regular and persistent and accompanied by the larger (and therefore more destructive) breeds.  If you see if happening, please feel free to have a word, if for no other reason than to find out why they do it. Personally, I don’t get it because apart from anything else the water is grey and smelly and will be unless and until it gets deeper – probably in the cold weather when no-one, canine or otherwise – feels much like swimming. But there you are. There will always be a few who have to be different.

It’s a shame because our wood is being enjoyed by increasing numbers of people, most of whom are brilliant in all other respects – picking up dog poo, pulling and cutting back thistles – but I’m guessing this will be a longer and more drawn out battle and I really don’t know how it will turn out. Perhaps a pair of particularly aggressive swans will take up residence on the island and repel all borders….

 

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2 thoughts on “The pond is complete …you can’t miss it!

  1. We were there again yesterday and it is really taking shape now and looking pretty good. Do we know who the irresponsible dog owners are and if so might a personal visit work? The newer signs re expense of seeds etc might work.

    We truly are lucky to have this wonderful amenity on our doorstep – who actually owns it now by the way, is it the village in conjunction with the Woodland Trust or is it still owned by the trustees of Anne Haddon?

    Once again thanks you for all you do. Linda & John (Avid grass puller outers)

    >

    • The wood is owned by the Woodland Trust, although the intention is to lease it to the Friends of Haddon Wood, probably about 5 years into its existence. It’s the WT’s policy to lease where possible to allow them to pursue their work of creating new woodland. There’s more about this in the minutes of the AGM – follow the link on the FHW AGM post of 1 June

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