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Trout Pond

The Council always recognised that the trout pond is a special feature in the middle of the High Street, where visitors can stop to look at the fish and children enjoy throwing bread to the ducks. However the Council felt that it was looking a bit worse for wear. The mortar that was supposed to be protecting the brickwork had cracked in many places and there were alot of weeds and grasses growing out of the cracks. This meant that the brickwork was no longer protected and where the mortar had fallen off, the bricks would be liable to wear which would cause a more expensive problem in a few years. The Council agreed to put together a project to undertake the improvements but this also meant looking for funding from other sources so that it did not fall to the Parish Council to pay for the work.

Fortunatley the Council was able to appoint an experienced contractor who would be able to install a dam in the pond so as to take the water away from the walls so the mortoring work could be be undertaken. The contractor was also engaged to apply for the necessary licences from the Environment Agency (including a "Fish rescue" licence). The issuing of these licences unfortunately took longer than expected but the contractor was finally notified at the end of March 2023 that they were about to be issued and work could commence. Fortunately, the contractor was able to start the work in April and Houghton Fishing Club were supportive of the work to taking place until the first week in May. 

The work involved removing all the weeds, debris and mortar from the sides of the pond, installing a dam to protect the fish and allow the water to continue to flow, making good places where bricks had fallen away, cleaning the brickwork and spraying with fungicide (EA approved) and then replacing the render. A complication arose when mother duck and her seven tiny ducklings arrived immediately as this work started in order to feed off the grubs that were dislodged as the weeds were removed. The contractor’s staff admitted that taking steps to avoid the ducklings was something that had not been included in their risk assessments! They even had to put in a ramp to help the ducklings into the water when the dam had been installed. 

Stockbridge Parish Council put together a "patchwork" of contributors for this project and would very much like to like to thank all of the following for their support  -TVBC, HCC, Houghton Fishing Club, Orvis, The Grosvenor Hotel and Robjents. Without their support the work could not have been undertaken because as the cost of the project represents over ¾ of the annual Precept of the Parish Council.