Blackmoor Copse Pond Makeover – Can You Help?

Blackmoor Copse is the oldest of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Nature Reserves. It was acquired in 1956 by the Royal Society for Nature Conservation (now Natural England) from Major General George Drew Fanshawe of Farley Farm and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust now owns and manages it.

The reserve’s spring-fed pond, on Wiltshire maps since the 1600s, has long been known as King Charles pond. The fleeing King Charles II certainly stayed at Heale House in 1651 but whether or not he visited Blackmoor Copse is not quite so readily verified!

The reserve’s spring-fed pond, on Wiltshire maps since the 1600s, has long been known as King Charles pond. The fleeing King Charles II certainly stayed at Heale House in 1651 but whether or not he visited Blackmoor Copse is not quite so readily verified!

Downy Emerald Dragonfly

Ruddy Darter Dragonfly

 

The pond’s dam, of unknown date, has leaked and been repaired in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. A series of silt traps was constructed in 1987 to slow down the silting up of the pond but despite being emptied every few

years the traps have now badly deteriorated and the pond has a miserable amount of water and is badly silted up.

Despite all its problems the pond has supported a wealth of toads, frogs, newts and dragonflies over many years, including the rare and beautiful Downy Emerald and Ruddy Darter dragonflies. Bats feed over the pond at dusk and dawn and mallard and moorhen make nesting attempts.

WWT would like to do a major pond makeover this autumn, using Jarred Bundy Construction’s local expertise, over 2 days. The silts traps will be enlarged and strengthened and the pond will have silt removed, the banks will be re-profiled and most importantly the dam will be repaired, widened and improved. There is a fully costed plan and all work will be done under careful supervision by WWT and Natural England.

I’ve been fund-raising to pay for the work and we now have firm pledges for a good proportion of the required £1600. If any local people enjoy walking in Blackmoor Copse and seeing its wildlife and would like to make a pledge for a donation, however small, then please do either contact WWT directly (01380 725670) or contact me by phone or email. The money will be needed to pay for the work in October/November.

Sue Walker, 01722 712713 or sue.wiltsimages@btinternet.com

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