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Prickend Pond, Chislehurst given major grant for restoration work

PUBLISHED: 15:35 06 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:35 06 June 2019

Steven Lofting, biodiversity adviser RSPB & idverde, John Hayhow, chairman of Chislehurst Commons, Peter Woodward, Chislehurst Commons trustee, and idverde'’s Allison John-Pandya. Picture: Bromley Council

Steven Lofting, biodiversity adviser RSPB & idverde, John Hayhow, chairman of Chislehurst Commons, Peter Woodward, Chislehurst Commons trustee, and idverde''s Allison John-Pandya. Picture: Bromley Council

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A charitable grant of £25,000 means restoration work at Prickend Pond can continue apace.

Wildlife and birds are finding a new home at Prickend Pond. Picture: Bromley CouncilWildlife and birds are finding a new home at Prickend Pond. Picture: Bromley Council

It is thanks to a Chislehurst Commons partnership working together to a common goal.

Chislehurst Commons received the grant from the HB Allen Charitable Trust.

It represents a significant contribution to the ongoing Prickend Pond Restoration Project.

The grant will help improve the island and the marginal planting around the pond and improve the health of the pond leading to greater biodiversity; as well as boosting the visitor experience in recognition of the pond's important position on the High Street.

Chislehurst Commons said it has faced major challenges with the pond, particularly regarding the quality and quantity of water.

Now this money will allow improvements to the water meaning birdlife and wildlife, including invertebrates, will be better supported locally.

Maintaining ponds is already a national problem with communities seeing them vanish over the years.

At Prickend, it is hoped that there will be more varied marginal planting at the pond so there will be something of interest throughout all seasons of the year.

The Prickend Pond Restoration Project Group has been working hard since last July to secure the additional funding and to survey the pond and surrounding areas to see what else is urgently required.

It is hoped the restoration work will start soon and that improvements will be seen in the coming year.

With help from its council partner, Chislehurst Commons was one of the founder Friends Groups to set up the Bromley Friends Forum for Parks and Green Spaces in 2004.

This forum comprises 42 Friends Groups each representing a park or other green space in Bromley.

Through the forum's structure, the council's contractors, idverde, has been working alongside the Trustees of the Commons to help them plan the ecological aspects of this project and submit the application for funding.

Chairman of Chislehurst Commons, John Hayhow said "This grant gives us a real opportunity to address some of the issues with Prickend Pond which we have known about for some time. We would like to thank the council and idverde for their help and support but I would also like to thank the many volunteers who donate both their time and money to support the Commons work and if you would like to be part of this, please get in touch."

And Councillor William Huntington-Thresher, executive councillor for environment, added: "This grant helps deliver an improved resident experience around Prickend Pond and will ultimately help to support the bird life of the pond and the surrounding area.

"Prickend Pond and the other two nearby ponds are deeply associated with Chislehurst in the mind's eye of many residents and our congratulations and thanks go to the Trustees of Chislehurst Common who submitted this successful grant application. In addition to idverde's support, the expertise of the RSPB was also invaluable in wining this grant."

The Trustees of Chislehurst Commons, who manage and maintain Chislehurst Commons, also added their gratitude to idverde for the support they have given, both with the fundraising and with the advice they have offered on the process.

Chislehurst Commons is a body established by an Act of Parliament in 1888 and became a charity in 1993.

It is responsible for the management of 180 acres of Commons land in Chislehurst and St Paul's Cray. It is run by an unpaid Trustee board and relies heavily on its volunteers who donate both their time and their money.

Anyone wanting to get involved or learn more about the Commons can visit the Chislehurst Commons Facebook page @chislehurstcommon or follow @chislehurstcommon on twitter or email info@chislehurstcommons.uk

The Trustees will also have an information marquee at the Rotary Club's Chislehurst Summer Fair on Saturday, June 8.

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