Chantry pond work nears completion after work through lockdown

PUBLISHED: 06:00 17 April 2020

Chantry park pond  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Chantry park pond Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

Work to restore the Wilderness Pond in Chantry Park in Ipswich is due to be completed by the end of next week – it has carried on during the lockdown because it was important to ensure it was completed during the early spring.

Dredging the silt from the pond has now been completed. Now the contractors called in by Ipswich council have to replace part of the fencing around the pond and ensure it is left tidy.

A spokesman for the borough said social distancing measures had been taken throughout and it had been reasonably easy to ensure work was carried out within government guidelines during the lockdown.

He said: “There was one person working in the cab of the digger to remove the silt and other staff were doing tasks on their own so there was no difficulty in ensuring there was a two-metre distance between the workers at all times.

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“And there really was a time imperative to get this done now – any delay until the summer would have caused huge damage to the environment and wildlife that use the pond and that area. It has gone well.”

Contractor Stillwater Management started work on clearing the pond at the end of February. The build-up of silt in the pond over many years had become so severe that fish had had to be removed from the pond in 2018 because they were unable to survive there.

The silt that has been removed from the pond has been left in the park and will be allowed to dry out. Some was checked by a local detectorist group before the lockdown was introduced – but that was not allowed to continue under the strict new rules.

The pond should be much more attractive and sustainable for wildlife which should find its way back into it during the late spring and early summer.

As well as Stillwater Management which cleared the pond, the project is being managed by contractors RG Carter.

The borough spokesman said: “The lockdown was something we had to take very seriously but once we were sure that the work could be done while observing social distancing it was right that it should go ahead and the pond is now a much better habitat for the wildlife that relies on it.”

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