The whole pond project was managed by the Friends of Paxton Pits to provide something new for visitors, especially those who are perhaps more prone to sitting and looking rather than constantly moving on.
We originally asked Aggregate Industries to dig the pond to provide an educational opportunity along-side our Environmental Education Centre but things moved on and, for many good reasons, it was decided to focus on smaller ponds where a successful and safe educational experience could be guaranteed. Instead we decided to make the pond a feature for its flowers and insect life, but it was too far from the path to be viewed intimately so, with John Steel, who has built a lot of bridges and paths for us in the past, we designed an easy-to-assemble platform that could sit on a steel frame. Driving supports into the soft ground would have been easy, but they would have had to be long and they would have punctured our pond lining.
The pond lining was put in by Waterlines Solutions from Oundle and it was all paid for with grants from the local Cooperative Society, the Friends of Paxton Pits Nature Reserve and the Aggregate Levy Fund. Of course we had to obtain permissions from Natural England and the Environment Agency and we sped on with the job using Rangers and Volunteers to get it finished to quite a high standard.
|Julie Slatter, Ray Matthews Debbie McKenzie and Jo Cobain.|
With the business over, we took a stroll with Education Manager Debbie Mackenzie through the garden of the Environmental Education Centre. It was all a leisurely affair so we had plenty of time to catch up with each other and "network" with colleagues.