Nature haven is springing back to life

April 30 2018
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A GROUP set up to protect Blackhorse Pond has continued to make progress.

Neighbours began to raise concerns that the pond, near Blackhorse Primary School, was drying up in late 2016.

The ‘Protect Our Pond’ campaign was started by resident Liz Foster-Hall, with the aim of restoring the pond, helping wildlife to thrive and providing a place for families to feed the ducks. Two public meetings took place, and South Gloucestershire Council pledged support. However, despite the council carrying out works to cut down trees around the pond during spring 2017, the pond dried up completely.

The group arranged for work such as foliage management, wildflower sowing, and bulb and orchard tree planting to take place in the Blackhorse open space before Christmas, with the aim of attracting wildlife back to the area and reinstating the pond. As a result of this work, fresh water mussels were found in the pond bed, kingfishers have also been spotted and a safe haven was also created for the nesting birds.

Since then, a chair, treasurer and secretary have also been appointed to the campaign group’s committee, and they are planning to meet with Helen Black from CVS South Gloucestershire, a group set up to support the area’s voluntary and community sector. They have also secured support and funding from the council’s employment support team for 12 hours to help them find out where they can put in applications for grants, and a new viewing barrier has been installed by the pond too.

In addition, the pond has had some further work undertaken by the council, including the trimming back of trees. Campaign founder Liz Foster-Hall told the Voice: “As the months move on, the group is looking forward to seeing the wild flowers area and orchard trees that were planted in the winter spring into life.”