Fountain switched on at round pond in Ipswich's Christchurch Park
PUBLISHED: 11:30 11 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:56 11 October 2018
The new fountain in the round pond at Christchurch Park has been installed and tested - and is being made ready for its first major test over the Remembrance ceremonies next month.
The fountain, which cost £11,000, was installed after the Friends of Christchurch Park offered to pay half the cost of installation. As well as being decorative, it will help to oxygenate the water in the pond and help to keep it clear.
The fountain’s full spray height will be 3.4 metres and it will have a 7.3 metre diameter making it an impressive addition to the pond.
However it will be on a timer and will be switched off at night so it does not disturb the bats in the area. It will also be adjusted for wind to try to ensure it doesn’t spray visitors.
The fountain is also floodlit, and during the run-up to November 11 it will be bathed in red light to make it look like a cascade of poppies to mark the centenary of the armistice.
Engineers called in to install the fountain and lights used canoes to move them into position and test the jets.
The water is already looking clearer – and it is possible that eventually fish could be returned to the pond. Until a few years ago it was quite well stocked with coarse fish.
There are no immediate plans for the return of fish, but if conditions are good it is possible they could naturally return – it is not unheard of for fish eggs to be carried on the feet of waterfowl flying from one pond or lake to another.
Park manager Lisa Stannard said: “We are very grateful to the Friends for their gift that has enabled the fountain to be installed – it will be floodlit and that will be good to guide people out of the park after major evening events here.
“It should be an attractive feature for the park.”
The fountain will help to improve the pond which was dredged, drained and had decades of silt removed as part of the park’s National Lottery-funded restoration in 2007.
The Round Pond is thought to date from the 17th century, although there is some evidence that it may have been built on the site of a medieval square pond.
The nearby Wilderness Pond was the fish pond for the monks of Christchurch Abbey which was on the site until the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII in 16th century.