Nature’s Gym at Hare & Billet Pond, Blackheath

Blackheath’s four ponds have great potential value to wildlife. Three of these, Hare and Billet pond, Mounts pond and the Prince of Wales pond, are on the Lewisham side of the Heath. These three ponds together constitute a substantial proportion of the borough’s still water habitat.  Historically the ponds would have been valuable watering holes for animals, such as coach horses and cattle being driven along the Dover Road.

Hare and Billet pond is the most natural-looking of the ponds, and probably the best for wildlife. Fringed with trees, it has gently sloping edges, with a good variety of marginal vegetation, much of which was planted after de-silting in early 1994.

Hare and Billet Pond

It was at one of these ponds that the Nature’s Gym volunteers found themselves this week.  A few local volunteers have already done some great work here, so there was not as much for us to do than usual.  Even so there was plenty to do on the glorious and sunny Autumnal morning. So on went the waders and out came the forks and mattocks.

Hard at work clearing the view to the pond

There was a small amount of floating pennywort that we removed before the pond became swamped with the plant.  We also remove a few of the reeds to clear so of the views across the pond.  We also cleared some of the plants near the bench at the Blackheath end of the pond, so people are now able to sit here and get a good view of the pond and the heath beyond.

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