Main car park off Cove Road, Fleet
OS Map 186, Grid Ref SU824553
Client: Fleet Pond Society
Fleet Pond is Hampshire's largest freshwater lake, covering an area of 21 Ha (52 acres). The Pond lies within a larger nature reserve totalling 57 Ha (141 acres), most of which is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. As well as the freshwater lake the reserve also contains areas of reed beds, marshes, heathland and woodland, all of which provides sanctuary to a rich community of plants and animals.
Fleet Pond was probably created by the damming of natural watercourses, draining a wide area of heath and woodland. In excess of 2,000 species of plants and animals have been recorded on the reserve. This includes almost 250 species of birds, 12 kinds of fish, more than 400 flowering plants and 250 species of fungi.
Two days were devoted to removing birch regrowth from heathland near the pond, with the help of lazydogs, which lever up the plant with most of its roots. The ones that didn't shift had to be cut and await further treatment.
In April we shall be clearing birch and scrub that has been encroaching onto some of the heaths around Fleet Pond. If this process is allowed to continue then the valuable and rare heathlands will eventually turn to woodland and be lost.
Meet at 10am in the car park off Cove Road. From Junction 4a of the M£ head south on the A327 for Fleet. Fork right at the traffic lights and then right at the roundabout onto Cove Road (A3013). Look out for a brown nature reserve sign a few hundred meters further on and turn left over the railway bridge. At the other side of the bridge turn right and follow the track until you reach the car park.
Look out for the yellow HCV flags.