New fountain should improve Christchurch Park’s Round Pond

Christchurch Park's Round Pond is to get a new fountain. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Christchurch Park's Round Pond is to get a new fountain. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Christchurch Park’s Round Pond is to get a new fountain and lighting under a joint project by the borough and the Friends’ group.

The fountain should help keep the water clear and fully aerated, making sure it stays clearer and making it less likely that unsightly and potentially dangerous algae can grow.

The new fountain and lighting will cost more than £11,000 to install – and the Friends of Christchurch Park will be providing £5,800 towards the cost of the project.

The installation is expected to be completed by the end of the summer and one of the first occasions when the lights will be shown off should be the annual fireworks display in November.

The fountain’s 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.

Parks portfolio-holder Phil Smart said: “We are very grateful for the contribution from the Friends. This will be an attractive feature in the heart of the park and will be appreciated by the thousands of visitors who come here.

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“Christchurch Park is a beautiful oasis in the heart of town – only last week we won another green flag here.”

Once the fountain is installed some of the silt from the pond should be removed, improving the look of a pond that was drained, de-silted and repaired as part of the restoration of Christchurch Park in 2007.

One of the problems with maintaining the pond is that birds – waterfowl and gulls – use it and their droppings can build up over the years.

In previous years there were fish in the pond, but there are none there at the present. It is not clear whether they will be re-introduced once the fountain is installed which should improve the quality of the water for all forms of wildlife.

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 fish pond for the monks of Christchurch Abbey which was on the sit until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.