Beloved Pagham pond rescued by Portsmouth Water top-up

Lakeview pond, in Pagham, was rescued by residents and a Portsmouth Water technical team after it started to dry up last week.

All that was left of the pond by Friday, when the Portsmouth Water team finally arrived, was a 'slimy green sludge’, according to resident Georgina Steen.

The pond is home to a number of wild animals, including ducks, swans, cygnets, eels and birds – many of whom where endangered by the sudden loss of water.

Desperate to save them, many residents described leaving food and buckets of water for the animals, trying to keep them as safe as possible until a real solution revealed itself.

Pagham pond. Photo: Jo Robertson

“Everybody was devastated to see what happened. It was so dreadful to watch,” said resident Jo Robertson. “The ducks and the swans could fly out, but the cygnets couldn’t and neither could the ducklings or the moorhens. So we had to fill up a bath with water and put it in there for them to use.”

By Friday, a Portsmouth Water technical team arrived to top up the pond’s water, making it safe for the wildlife once again.

At the time, a spokesperson for Portsmouth Water said filling the pond was more complicated than merely raising the water level: “Whilst in the past, as a goodwill gesture, we have topped up the pond from our network this, current hot dry spell has meant we have had to think very carefully about helping again. Our underground water resources are under pressure following a period of very low rainfall dating back to January - and as a result of this we have been appealing to our customers to 'use water wisely'. Indeed the Bognor area in general has been a focus of much of our effort recently due to the high demands in the peak holiday season. So we have had to balance the needs of our customers and the environment," they said.

Thankfully, a viable solution was found, but Portsmouth Water has warned it is ‘not as long-term solution', urging residents to ‘work with the owner of the pond to find a permanent solution to the ponds’ vulnerability in dry weather.”

Pagham pond before the Portsmouth Water top-up

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