Conservation Volunteers splashing out on Croydon’s ponds

Work going on at the pond at Hamsey Green, part of a Lottery-funded conservation project

There are more than 30 ponds in public areas, parks and open spaces in Croydon. Many are well-known landmarks, some have Friends groups to help keep them clean and vibrant.

Yet most people know very little about the history of these places and their importance to Croydon’s ecology.

The Conservation Volunteers in Croydon have recently launched the Croydon Ponds Project, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, to investigate the history and ecology of Croydon’s ponds.

TCV will be working with existing community groups to help them maintain the pond in their local area and they are also looking for new volunteers to help research and bring together all of the historical information about our ponds.

Peter Underwood, senior project officer with The Conservation Volunteers in Croydon, said: “I am really pleased that we have secured support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for this new project in Croydon. We already work with some local volunteers to help maintain a few ponds, but this project will help expand the scope and scale of that work.

Volunteers hard at work at Happy Valley, one of 30 ponds around Croydon’s open spaces

“I am also really interested to find what our volunteer researchers will dig up. We know that the origins of our ponds reflect the changes in Croydon, from open farmland, to large estates, to industrial and urban development. So it will be great to see how this project will use local ponds to tell the story of how we got to where we are today.”

TCV has appointed Adam Asquith as its officer to oversee the ponds project, and he said, “I am really looking forward to working with Croydon people on this project. Over the next two years we will be providing lots of opportunities for people to get involved and find out more about their local ponds.

“We will publish both the historical and ecological information online and in hard copy and we will put on events and stalls for people to find out more.

“This project will not only uncover the past history of our ponds but, by training volunteers to maintain the ponds and working with schools to pass information on to their pupils, we will be helping preserve our ponds for future generations.”

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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