WITH SUSPICIONS that the filter system may not be working, Hedon Town Council is to carry out a further investigation into problems at Horsewell Pond that seem to prevent it from retaining water.
The problems at the pond were discussed at Hedon Town Council’s Property Committee last week, but amidst some apparent confusion by members over what the problems were, and what the solutions might be, Councillor Neil Black as Chair of the committee suspended the council’s normal proceedings and invited ex-councillor and the ex-chair of the Property Committee Jim Lindop to give the meeting an update based upon his working knowledge of the pond and the work that has already been carried out.
Mr Lindop explained that work to tackle weeds and reeds at the pond was needed. This shouldn’t cost anything; he had previously arranged for volunteers from BP Rugby Club to come and do some of this physical work. He explained that there was a natural spring that feeds the left-hand side of the pond, but the main body of water relied on the swale and filter system constructed last year and there may be a problem with the filter. The system was overflowing when it rained heavily allowing mucky water into the pond. This certainly indicated that it wasn’t working as intended.
The chairman thanked Jim Lindop for his comments and then re-convened the meeting. Councillor Terry West proposed having an exploratory look at the filtration system to try to determine the problems with it. This was agreed. Additionally, it was agreed that at the most opportune time, the pond would be filled manually by hose pipe to determine its capacity to retain water. A report on the actions taken would be brought to the next Property meeting.
The dilemma at the pond seems to focus around the ‘window of opportunity’ available to do any work at the site. Jim Lindop has commented frequently on the advice from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust that work should only take place between November and late February/early March so as not to disturb amphibians and other important wildlife at the site.
Restoration of a viable pond – as the town’s last remaining stretch of standing water – is a noble aim and of some historical interest. And wouldn’t it be ironic, when the town’s logo depicts a man on a sailing ship, if we were unable to save our small but last piece of natural wetland!?
The photos sent in by Jim Lindop at the time, show the filter beds being constructed in March 2013. If working properly, a swale (narrow ditch) which was dug out in May 2013 would convey natural rainwater from Market Hill which is then filtered through the beds to clean it of pollutants – the water is then channelled into the pond via the white piping linking the filter beds with the pond.