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Horsewell Pond – Restoration dilemma

HORSEWELL POND was labelled a ‘right mess’ by Councillor Alan Marshall at the last meeting of the Property Committee of Hedon Town Council on Thursday (13th February 2014) as Jim Lindop comments. The reeds have taken over the pond once again and the volunteer work to remove them that has taken place in the past seems to have all been done in vain.

The activity of wildlife at the pond, will now make further work on the Horsewell Pond March 2014restoration project very unlikely if not impossible for some time to come.

Since Jim Lindop’s resignation from Hedon Town Council in November 2013 the town has lost a local champion for the pond. There is no doubting that as Mayor and Mayoress Jim and Sue Lindop prioritised work on the pond as something important to the town. An interview with the Mayor and Mayoress (Lindops) in June last year confirms this:

“The pond is dear to our hearts,” says Sue “we hope that will be our legacy.” Jim talks enthusiastically about returning permanent water to the pond and waxes technically about “swales, trenches, filter beds, and special plants”. He is particularly pleased about the volunteers who have helped out digging and weeding, especially from his sons Jamie and Adam’s rugby team, BPRUFC.

The civic commitment from the Lindops to Horsewell Pond was backed up by a passionate and personal commitment too. This is not to discount the care and attention that Hedon councillors and particularly Councillor Marshall gives to such issues – his love of all things to do with the town’s history and heritage is well-known and respected – but just reveals that when a project has ‘champions’ then motivation, drive and project management is that much more apparent.

At the Town Council last Thursday a Pond ‘working group’ involving six councillors was established to take stock of the current situation and start again. In starting again it’s obviously important that we don’t lose sight of the time, effort and finance already spent on the project – but perhaps equally essential the council needs to identify who amongst its member will now play that role of ‘champion’ of the project.

10 replies »

  1. When I was a child growing up nr Market Hill late 1950’2/60’s in Hedon the Ducking Pond as it was known was a big link to the past. We was told that’s where “witches” were ducked but now know these to be persecuted wise women. I do not live in Hedon anymore but still visit my family there. I hope the pond can be somehow put right. It was always full of water when i was young.

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  2. I’m not totally sure I am remembering accurately here but my father in law Thomas Gant said there was some sort of rodding eye was what he called it that if you kept it clear the pond would fill naturally. This was in the 60’s. It is after all part of Hedon’s heritage.

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  3. Times change, things move on, things redevelop. Why waste lots of money putting in a pond which really provides no benefit to the town? Sure, it looks nice (when filled with water) but at the moment its a bit of an eyesore. Why not fill it in, grass it over, plant a tree and put in some benches, would be quite a nice place to sit in the summer (even better if there was wifi ha-ha). Things seem to be so petty between the town council now, its quite sad. Rather than trying to restore something which has now gone, lets make the most of the area and put it to good use!

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  4. Daffodil planting at Horsewell Pond Monday 7th Sept 2013

    Daffodil planting at Horsewell Pond Monday 7th October 2013

    CHILDREN at Hedon Primary School have helped to bring a splash of Spring yellow to nearby Horsewell Pond! The bulbs they planted last October have created a blaze of colour at an otherwise drab pond site.

    Well done kids!

    Daffodils 22nd March 2014

    Daffodils 22nd March 2014

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  5. In reply to Peters comments, Horsewell is a natural pond, there is a natural spring in the western end, it was also filled from the land drains in the adjacent field, it is in a line of wells and ponds starting near Driffield, the next in line is a well in the garden of a house in Ketwell lane. When the EYRC constructed the school playing field the drains were destroyed, the representative from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust said he thinks the council made a mistake in about 2000/1 when they covered the spring up with a liner, however he thought the spring had punched through the liner because there is always water in that end.
    What happen was we dug weeds out by hand with the help of BP RUFC, then YWT brought a mechanical digger in to dig out the pond and later a natural filter system. This filter is approx. 2m deep x 3 to 4m square filled with aggregate and topped with plants, draining into the pond via a pipe. Water is taken from Market Hill when it rains via a swale(shallow ditch) however this needs to be kept clear, which I have done myself on two occasions. YWT were to spray off the nettles around the outside of the pond then wildflower seeds were to be planted, to spray you must have the relevant licence. Sue and I along with children from Ketwell School planted hundreds of daffodil bulbs which are coming through now.
    No work can be done until the newts, frogs and the protected Great Crested Newts have left, that is November until end Feb, that’s why I reported to the council in Nov and followed up with a question in Jan at the public meeting, from which they did nothing, only now they are to set up a working group.
    How they can make statements that the pond will not hold water, I don’t believe its rained enough to fill the pond to check, do what they have done in the past, fill the pond and filter from a water hydrant and check. The filter may be leaking but it hasn’t really rained, the swale must be kept clear in order for water to enter the filter. I have watched as it has rained and seen the swale over flow, so the grill from the swale into the filter also need s clearing. I do agree it should be dug deeper at the eastern end, also all the reeds need to be dug out as they take up water
    Horsewell is part of Hedon’s heritage, it is hundreds of years old, it must be preserved. it is sad that the council don’t seem concerned and missed there opportunity again.

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  6. I’m disappointed that the council have chosen to neglect this issue especially when they have had plenty of opportunities and volunteers to help. The ducking pond (as it is well known as) is an iconic part of Hedon just like the church and the market place. If it needs a little help to keep such an important and well loved area maintained then Hedon council should make every effort to do so.

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  7. No it’s not a case of anyone taking their ball home. As Jim knows the pond won’t hold water. We work very hard and do not spend our time arguing and fighting. I personally put all of my time into my work on the Council. No one is letting the money be wasted. There are certain times things can be done and times it can’t be because of the wildlife in there. Until we find a way to make the pond hold water it can’t be filled.

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  8. This pond was always known as ducking pond when i was a child, we were all told it was used for ducking witches and was bottomless, lol.. its a shame its gone and i have no idea why it wont hold water …something to do with works on the school by the east riding…The council started the project under Jim and should really have followed it through, this is the sort of project a town council with no real power should be championing, instead they are too busy arguing and falling out. How much money has been spent , and who has let this money be wasted by not getting on with the work. Jim had an army of volunteers ready to get on with any manual labour he just needed the go ahead from the council. Is this a case of we are taking our ball home from the council ?.

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    • The Budget for finishing the work to restore the pond was one of many items vetoed by the Tory Mayor and his chums who hold an effective majority on the council… (It has nothing to do with previous arguments, other than it maybe seen as a petty response to the fact Jim Lindop championed the project ?) The sum involved was neglible compared to the environmental and ecological benefit.
      But the Tories voted to block almost all the expenditure on improvements to the town, and this was one of them. .

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  9. I was one of the ‘volunteers’ who worked on clearing the pond when the attempt to restore it was last made. Since then despite the best advice and support of experts from across Yorkshire the water has disappeared, and the area has become the unsightly mess it is today. I believe it is time to stop trying to hang onto the past. Something has happened to the area which seems to render the presence of a pond there impossible today without major and costly engineering. It’s geographically a high point in the area (although not currently environmentally) and not a natural place for a pond.

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