Park pond gets £50k Lottery cash boost

Members of Friends of the Hampden Park with council officials and MP Stephen Lloyd
Members of Friends of the Hampden Park with council officials and MP Stephen Lloyd

WORK on improving Decoy Pond in Hampden Park is set to get underway soon thanks to a £50,000 cash boost from the Lottery.

The money has been handed over to the Friends of the Hampden Park after the group was successful in its £50,000 grant bid to Community Spaces and the Grand Lottery.

It will be added to the £60,000 already committed by Eastbourne Borough Council for the project.

Sandy Boyce-Sharpe, chairman of the Friends of the Hampden Park, said the Friends were delighted.

She said, “The main aim of the Friends when it was set up seven years ago was the restoration of the Decoy Pond and this is now achievable.

“Our grateful thanks also go to everyone who contributed to the pond appeal which will be used to top up any shortfall.”

Councillor Steve Wallis, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for the Environment at Eastbourne Borough Council, said, “It is fantastic news to hear the Friends have secured £50,000 to put towards the budget already committed by the council for the Decoy Pond Project.

“Decoy Pond has been in existence for more than 100 years and the accumulation of silt has resulted in the pond not containing a balanced ecology system.

“The work that is being undertaken will create deeper water and also with new planting of reeds, marginal and aquatic plants, will improve the biodiversity of the pond for future years.”

Work has already started on the pond with some of the lakeside vegetation thinned on the dam last year and further work being carried out on the two islands, to reduce the shading and leaf fall into the pond.

Fallen trees are being removed from the island margins and some of the timber from these works will be used to create habitat piles.

The full extent of the works requires approval from the Environmental Agency and includes the creation of a spillway, the proposed raising of the water level, the creation of ponds and reed beds where the water flows into the pond, silt removal and redistribution to the pond margins, planting of marginal plants and re- setting the rocks in the splash pool and towards the sensory garden. 

An interpretation board will be placed opposite the café to explain the full extent of the works as soon as they are approved.