Popular Sheffield National Trust Pond holds up after Downpours

A popular pond, which dates back some 180 years managed to survive all the recent bad weather.Longshaw lead ranger Rachel Bennett celebrates the new pond wall holding up in the downpours at the Longshaw pond.Longshaw lead ranger Rachel Bennett celebrates the new pond wall holding up in the downpours at the Longshaw pond.

Longshaw lead ranger Rachel Bennett braved the November downpours recently to check the new repairs to the popular but leaking pond on the National Trust Longshaw estate.“The pond is a focal point for visitors, but it’s been leaking for quite a few years,” she said. “This October we’ve been fixing the leak with our contractors, so we hope once the rain stops a bit, the path by the pond will be a lot drier in future.” The pond is marked on old maps of over 180 years ago, and was originally built to provide fishing for visitors to the Duke of Rutland’s estate, possibly on the site of a smaller pond centuries older.

The stones lining the clay bank had been collapsing into the pond for years, and repairs had to be carefully carried out to maintain the pond’s archaeology as well as protect the animals that live there, including newts, toads and frogs, damselflies and dragonflies and flocks of mandarin and mallard ducks, among many others.Before starting the repair work, Rachel and National Trust ecologist colleague Chris Wood had to check all the pond’s amphibian residents had left for their winter homes in nearby mud and log piles.“If anyone was out walking at dusk in October they’d have seen Chris and me with powerful torches sweeping the pond for two hours looking for frogs, toads and newts,” she said. “We didn’t find any so we knew we could go ahead.”

A temporary dam was put in place around a six metre section of wall to carry out the work using the original stones, which took two weeks.“The pond is a really important feature for visitors, particularly for families and people with buggies, and when we said we had to carry out repairs people were really keen to help,” said Rachel.“So we’d really like to thank the many people who contributed to our pond repair raffle,” she said. “The raffle raised nearly £3,500 towards the repairs, so the newts, frogs and mandarin ducks – and the runners and walkers who’ve been wading through puddles for years – would like to say thank you too!”

Thanks to The Sheffield Telegraph for the post:- https://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/news/people/popular-sheffield-national-trust-pond-holds-after-downpours-1260344

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