Kingley Vale pond restored

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A dew pond in a nature reserve is to be restored to its former glory thanks to volunteers.

The pond, at the popular Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve in West Stoke, has fallen into a state of disrepair with broken liners meaning it cannot hold water.

Reserve manager Katherine Birch said the restoration was very important because dew ponds provided a vital habitat for many types of wildlife.

“It doesn’t hold water in the summer and it’s been dry all summer,” she said.

“The liners have been damaged for a long time, I think the last time work was carried out was in the 1970s.

“There has been a lot of public support, people have been distressed to see the pond in such a state.”

Mrs Birch said grant funding was being obtained and the hope was to start work in February, working with volunteers from across the community.

The pond is situated right in the middle of a coombe and is thought to be at least 200 years although it could be much older, as there are signs of farmng in the area which date back to the Bronze age.

Because it is a chalk landscape, the pond would have been originally constructed using clay from a nearby location to line the bottom.

It was used to collect water running off the hill so animals would have water.

“Being at the bottom of a really deep coombe it was in a good site to collect the water,” said Mrs Birch.

“Ponds are amazing habitats for wildlife – they provide good eco systems as well as being a water point for wildlife.”

Members of the volunteer ranger service will be helping with the project, as well as the charity Phoenix Futures which works with people who have drug and alchol problems.

People who would like to support the project should contact Katherine on 01243 575353 or email katherine.birch@naturalengland.org.uk