Restoration work starts on Ham Gate, Ham Dip and Martin's Ponds and is planned to take place on the Isabella Plantation's three ponds
Following the completion of Jubilee Pond, the Ponds and Streams Programme is tackling the restoration and improvement of two other ponds – Ham Gate/Ham Dip and Martin’s Pond. There is also work underway on the Isabella Plantation ponds, to which the P&S Programme is contributing.
Ham Gate Pond and Ham Dip Pond are linked ponds near Ham Gate. Ham Gate Pond is located next to the gate, Ham Dip is on the right coming up the hill from the gate. There is also a small feeder pond above the road near Ham Cross.
The ponds are infested with Australian swamp stonecrop (Crassula), floating pennywort and Nuttall’s pondweed, which have become established over the last few years, covering more of the water every summer. Ham Gate Pond also has very poor water quality and low invertebrate diversity because of high nutrient levels and turbidity (cloudiness caused by deer and dogs in the water), heavy silting from rotten leaves and duck droppings, and trees over-shadowing it. It has been due for restoration for many years
The restoration involves two stages – first draining the ponds and spraying them and their banks with a herbicide, and second de-silting, removal of some tree cover and marginal planting including creation of reed-beds. The end result will be similar work to Adam’s Pond near Sheen Gate, which was restored in 2007.
The first stage has already happened last September; the second stage will happen next summer/autumn, when the ponds are the driest, although some work may be undertaken this winter.
The work will cost £50,000 and is being funded 50% by a special grant from The Royal Parks and 50% by the Ponds and Streams Programme, with the Friends and Healthy Planet contributing to it. If needed, we will launch a public appeal later this year to seek public contributions to the P&S part of the funding.
Martin’s Pond is located about half way up on the left of the road running from Robin Hood Gate to Pen Ponds car park. It collects water from the whole of the area between the road and Prince Charles Spinney and drains via a culvert to Beverley Brook near Robin Hood Gate.
A drainage scheme in the mid 18th century culverted sections of the ditch, resulting in loss of aquatic habitat. The plan is to de-culvert about 400m of this and open up the brook, creating a new ditch with associated aquatic and marginal wildlife habitat. The marshy areas near Martin’s Pond have great potential for great crested newts, for whom a new home has been created by clearance at Dann’s Pond, funded by Frog Life.
The work will cost £10-15,000 and will be funded by the Richmond Park Charitable Trust, Healthy Planet, the Friends of Richmond Park and Park Visitor Centre.
Isabella Plantation Ponds. Isabella Plantation has three ponds – Still Pond (famous for its display of rhododendron and azaleas), Thomson’s Pond (with its stepping stones and grassed area) and Peg Ponds (at the bottom of the plantation, with its many wildfowl). Restoration of all three ponds was included in The Royal Parks bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for improvements to the plantation (the Isabella Plantation Access Project).
The restoration involves de-silting of all three ponds, repairing pond linings and edgings, enlarging Peg’s Pond and creating areas of reed bed, and providing additional marginal planting. Streams throughout Isabella will also be improved, with bank alteration, pooling, control of invasive weeds and new planting. The restoration work is the first part of the Access Project and started in early January.
The Isabella ponds and streams work is funded by the HLF and the SITA landfill trust, and the Friends of Richmond Park have contributed £6,000 to the restoration through the Ponds and Streams Programme.