This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book. Managing & Maintaining our water channels Lake Restoration &

erosion control on working with nature

Damian McGettrick

Long reach excavator specialists, WM Longreach, are creating islands and wildlife habitats as part of the Fleet Pond restoration project. Using their specialist excavators mounted on floating pontoons, the silt is being removed from the lake bed and used in the construction of lake islands. These will reduce turbidity in the water by acting a windbreak and improve the wildlife and ecology on the SSSI and nature reserve. The islands are being formed using a Nicospan material supported by timber posts.

Works will continue until later this year.

About the Fleet Pond restoration project

Fleet Pond is Hamshires largest freshwater lake

covering approximately 21.4 hectares. It is located on the eastern fringe of the town of Fleet and forms an extremely valuable

historical, social, recreational and biodiversity resource for the local community.

The lake and its surrounding habitats are managed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Local Nature Reserve (LNR), and includes areas of open water, wet and dry woodland, reedbed, marshland and heathland.

Over the years, the ecological and physical condition of Fleet Pond has declined due to the build up of silt in the lake brought in from the Gelvert and Brookly Streams. The build up of silt is causing key habitats to deteriorate and the lake is now in an unfavourable and declining status, as described by Natural England’s conservation objectives.

The Fleet Pond Restoration Project aims to recreate lost habitat and improve biodiversity value within the lake and to also protect the lake from future environmental changes. This is a long-term project being carried out in partnership with Hart District Council, Environment Agency, Natural England and the Fleet Pond Society (amongst others).

The key objectives of the proposals include:

1. Creating an additional stream channel to carry some of the silty flow from the Gelvert Stream away from ‘Sandy Bay’ and to create the right conditions to allow this to settle out; 2. Creating new wetland habitats associated with this channel; 3. Small scale dredging within the lake to increase depth; 4. Creation of new lake island habitat, using the dredged lake sediment and providing new reedbeds for birds, fish, and insects; 5. Creation of sheltered marginal habitats to promote clear water conditions and the recovery of the lake’s plant and insect life for which it was renowned.

Watercourse maintenance • excavation Desilting of ponds, lakes, rivers & lagoons

tel: +44 (0) 1746 769555 • web: 19

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