Badshot Lea Pond is an excellent example of the once common features of rural life that are fast disappearing from the landscape. It was most likely constructed in the 14th Century as a fish pond for the moated manor house that stood nearby. The pond is certainly over 200 years old as it appears on Roque’s map of 1767. Before the enclosure of the common of Badshot Lea in 1857, it stood near the crossing of two drove roads and was used to water passing animals. After the enclosure, it became a farm pond.
Scope of the Project
Reed mace and other vegetation, which was encroaching from the South and West margins, dominated much of the pond. This, along with significant silt formation, had reduced water depths in certain areas as well as reducing the surface area of the pond. Bankside willows were shading out large areas, increasing nutrient build-up and leading to blocking of the outlet culvert, which had resulted in flooding in the past. Algae and Duckweed had dominated the open water area, and the aquatic system was in the advanced stages of eutrophication.
Tree and vegetation clearance works enabled areas of the surrounding parkland to opened up. Improving the appearance of the once-neglected pond and allowing much-needed daylight to reach the margins. Over time this would lead to an increase of aquatic flora colonising the pond margins and an overall improvement in water quality.
Water levels were lowered by clearing the pond outlet and pumping the water away. A tracked excavator was used to remove the excess vegetation and sediment, which was placed behind a woven Hazel facing installed across two key areas.
To overcome potential future flooding issues bank levels were raised by installing a plastic sheet-piling wall along the southern embankment. The wall was dressed with topsoil and graded to blend in with the rest of the parkland surroundings.