Posted: Tuesday 21st March 2017
The pond on Butts Close is getting some much-needed attention over the next few weeks, as it is restored as part of a project investing in the future of this centuries-old greenspace.
The work involves removing much of the silt and plant material which has naturally accumulated in the pond. The material will be allowed to dry, then landscaped next to the pond and reseeded with grass to promote its recovery. The work is being funded by North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC) and managed by the Countryside Management Service (CMS).
This short-term disturbance will bring long-term benefits, by preventing the pond drying out and improving its water quality. De-silting is an important event in the life of a pond, and should help the pond remain a valuable haven for wildlife in the heart of Hitchin. It will also ensure it can continue to fulfil its function as a balancing pond, retaining water flowing from the west and releasing it slowly into the River Hiz.
Cllr Peter Burt, NHDC’s Executive Member for Waste Management, Recycling and Environment, said: “This is an important piece of work to secure the future of the pond on Butts Close, which is valuable for both wildlife and managing flood risk. Butts Close is the oldest open space in Hitchin, and we are pleased to see the beginning of this project which will bring improvements across the site.”
The work on the pond is part of a wider project to reinvigorate Butts Close. In December, CMS volunteers will be on site to improve the existing reedbed and coppice shrubs north of the pond. New interpretation boards are being designed for the main entrances, which will reveal some of the fascinating history of the site, and the benches and bins are being upgraded too.