(April 1999) Village pond

There have been several requests for information on the current status of the village pond and the outlook for its maintenance and improvement. Historically, the pond has been a feature of our village for hundreds of years, attracting generations of families to enjoy the frogs, ducks, fish, plants and other wildlife. For various reasons, over the past few years, the water table has dropped and, especially during the summer months, the water has become very shallow. Because of this a large number of mature carp were confiscated as they were deemed to be in distress.

Sometime ago a pond committee was formed by the Sibford Gower Parish Council; Committee Members include Roger Powell, David Soden, John Berry, Ivor Hopkyns and Fred Inns, who, with the help of other volunteers, try to keep the pond and the surrounding area attractive. Every summer the pond is drained and cleaned, usually on a weekend when the skip is nearby. There have also been several attempts to introduce plants and small fish to the pond.

As almost 75% of village ponds in the U.K. have disappeared over the past 100 years, The Heritage Lottery fund has announced a programme to restore up to 1,000 village ponds. We have taken the first step of registering in the programme by forwarding photographs and other basic information and, as we appear to meet the selection criteria, our registration has been confirmed. We are now awaiting details on how to apply for a grant.

In the meantime, we believe we have located several springs nearby which we shall attempt to divert into the pond, if necessary. Blanketweed has been a problem over the last two or three summers and is skimmed off three or four times a month. If anyone thinks they have a better solution to this problem, or would like to help with the cleaning and maintenance, please contact one of the committee members.