The Community Foundation for Surrey awarded us a generous grant to construct a large pond and scrapes in the field that has now been designated as a Centenary Field under Fields In Trust. Thanks to this generosity we were able to survey, plan and ultimately construct the pond and scrapes all sanctioned by the Environment Agency who recognised the flood alleviation this scheme would bring downstream.
Following Planning Permission granted by MVDC in 2015 work commenced on 1st April 2016 but was quickly halted by the wettest Spring weather for many years. Although we wanted to create a wetland we didn't quite want it before we started moving several tonnes of spoil off the site!
As a consequence work had to stop for a while. Even when we did continue we could only drag the spoil into a huge mound until the ground dried sufficiently to enable the large heavy dumper to move the it through Fraudings field into Jack Adams field so the grab lorry could take it away.
Thanks to the generosity of our sponsor, A Plant, we were able to keep the heavy plant on site and use it whenever the weather permitted. The pictures show the project from start with the mowed field to the end with the pond and scrapes already filled with groundwater.
Whilst excavating the ground, clay drainage pipes were discovered. These must have been installed many years ago as we were unaware of their exitence until work started. On the advice of an expert the pipes were broken up and a long deep trench dug between the pond and scrapes and the brook itself. This trench was then back filled with heavy compacted clay forming a natural barrier to the drainage. This allowed the natural groundwater to rise filling the pond and scrapes. The result was almost instant, and overnight the pond and scrapes filled.
The major ground work is now complete, but there is still some landscaping work to carry out. Another grant from the Thomas Flack Trust Fund helped us reshape the banks in the area, widening the brook and creating a shelf for water based plant life to flourish.
Thames Water have also now granted us funds to construct a wooden walkway across the wetland which will be built in 2017 by the Lower Mole Conservation Group.