The Parish Council has taken further expert advice, and having initially considered leaving the silt (the muddy layer now visible at the bottom of the pond) as it performs the function of a filter, we have been advised that this is a good window of opportunity to remove some of the silt that has built up over time, and therefore both clean and increase the depth of the pond. With greater depth we would have a greater volume of water, which would hopefully fare better during future heatwaves. The pond will then be left to naturally re-fill with rain and run-off water when the weather decides to change. Some villagers may remember the last time de-silting happened in 1995!
A first step in this process is the testing of the silt to ensure it does not contain contaminants (e.g. oils, heavy metals) and, once the Parish Council has the results, we will be able to determine when and by whom the de-silting process can be conducted, and to where we can dispose of it.
By way of an update on the pond wildlife we are pleased to confirm that we didn’t lose all our fish! Sadly a few of the carp did succumb to the high water temperatures, however a team of local volunteers have managed to save around 700 fish and they have been relocated to a temporary rescue tank and seem to be doing well. The ducks, newts, moorhens, toads etc. that have also been inhabiting the pond will find their way to other ponds, of which we know there are many not far from the central village one.
By taking the actions outlined above (and other potential steps to be determined) we hope to be able to mitigate against such extreme water loss in future. Further updates will be released as information is known.
Barton Parish Council