Parish council steps in to rescue Walberton pond

Walberton Parish Council have stepped into rescue a much-loved duck pond after it dried up earlier this week.

This is only the second time in fifty years that the pond has dried up, but a spokesperson for the council said members are aware ‘the risk may increase as the climate changes.’

In order to tackle this problem head on, and save the pond’s wildlife, the parish council is dealing with the short-term risk to fish welfare and making provisions for a ‘more resilient’ pond in future.

The spokesperson went on to say that the council has been monitoring the pond’s water levels since June, concerned that decreased rainfall might endanger the fish, and are currently reporting a daily drop of 5MM.

Walberton pond

The water levels are still above the safety threshold for fish, meaning they are unlikely to experience major welfare problems just yet, but the council officer made clear that ‘this won’t last very long.’

They have estimated they have two weeks before the pond’s water level falls too low to sustain the larger fish and have been in regular contact with the Environment Agency.

Unfortunately, the spokesperson said, the agency do not assist with water top-ups or fish relocations.

Instead, the council is talking to suppliers to acquire a temporary holding tank which can be used to house the endangered fish while the pond returns to normal, safe water levels.

In order to solve the problem long-term, a spokesperson said the council is considering an extensive refit of the pond. This would see the area ‘dredged, reprofiled and planted with marginal plants that will favour wildlife such as dragon flies and newts whilst enhancing the aesthetic qualities of the pond, and the village as a whole.’

The news comes after a pond in Pagham was topped up by Portsmouth Water after a lack of rainfall resulted in a drastic decline in water levels.

The rapidly diminishing water endangered the pond’s native population of ducks, swans and cygnets, and residents were forced to step in, providing water and food for suffering animals, before a Portsmouth Water team worked out a viable solution to the pond’s problem.

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