A Victorian Pond

Many of you might be familiar with the pond located in the grounds of the Grange in Hurworth, but how many of you know that it is Victorian in origin and was originally 90ft by 40ft? It was really was quite something with a lovely Japanese style bridge across it. We have a grainy picture of how it once looked. In the seventies our poor old pond was filled with rubble and bricks, which appears to have adversely affected the lining of the pond. This now means the pond almost disappears to a muddy puddle each summer. Some work has been done to remove a huge pipe and tidy the area, but the pond still cannot support wildlife and planting, because of this disappearance of the water each summer.
The pond would need to be 650mm (27.5 inches) on a constant basis to be viable as a wildlife haven.
EPICH is currently looking at different options to renovate the pond, to give it some stability in the summer and make it into an extension of the existing nature reserve on the site. Potentially creating a Butterfly Haven – for this it would be important to provide plants for both nectar and as caterpillar food plants, such as marsh violet and rock rose.
Species of butterfly fast disappearing in the North East include the grayling, dark green fritillary and the dingy skipper.

And of course we are looking for any help that we can get!
• If anyone has any information or photos regarding the pond as it was in Victorian times, this will strengthen our case for a possible grant.
• Any ideas on how to renovate the pond or comments on the potential renovation (rest assured all health and safety issues will be closely looked at).
• Do you have time to give a few hours of your time for this or any other EPICH project?
Eco People in Hurworth & Croft is a group of local volunteers, whose intention is to provide and maintain areas of local public interest, in particular focussing on the environment and education within its community. This is to be achieved by developing existing projects and the creation of new undertakings, concerning wildlife, nature and the surrounding countryside in which we live.
Any information or ideas regarding the potential pond project contact Val Smith on valjsmith@hotmail.co.uk
To offer a general helping hand with EPICH projects, such as path clearing, general planting, tidying, renovating bird and insect boxes, etc., please our Secretary John Martin on johnmartin@epich.org.uk

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