Silt Starts Shifting At Ashmore

Digging has begun at Ashmore Pond. Long-term plans to clean and re-patch the one thousand-year-old Saxon dew pond are in full-swing and the village Pond Renovation Group said five to six feet of silt had been removed from the bottom.

The specialist environmental and water engineering company, White Horse Contactors have been employed to carry you the work and "all is going to plan.”
White Horse Contractors team

The silt has been excavated using a 15m long reach excavator and carted to local agricultural land where it has been spread and left to drain and dry out prior to cultivation and seeding in the spring.  It looks absolutely disgusting and the smell is terrible, but we hope that early next summer, the pond will be looking magnificent," said Paula Turner-Cooke of Ashmore Pond Renovation Group.

For some time the pond hasn't fully retained water due to a failure of the membrane around the perimeter of the pond which was installed approximately 15 years ago.  A new Bentomat membrane has therefore been installed, tying into the functional part of the original lining, and covered with locally sourced chalk followed by topsoil marring into surrounding ground levels. The pond will be replanted with in the spring with native aquatic plants. In the meantime, it is hoped that rainwater will fill the pond.

The diggers will be there for another two weeks and work on repairing the banks will begin shortly afterwards.

Mrs Turner-Cooke said that the renovation group had managed to raise enough money to see the work through to completion and provide a future maintenance fund as well. The whole project is estimated to have cost about £35,000, which has been raised via public donations and grants from local bodies and the lottery. Part of this fund will also go toward a silt trap for the pond.
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