Volunteers work to bring Midhurst’s South Pond view back

  • Volunteers have been working on South Pond planting bulbs and thinning saplings to clear the view across the pond
  • The restoration project has been criticised for obstructing the iconic view
  • Volunteers say the work is not yet finished

VOLUNTEERS have been working to bring back the view across South Pond in the wake of criticism that the £65,000 restoration project had ‘cost Midhurst yet another part of its heritage’.

Midhurst historian Bridget Howard complained the quest for biodiversity had been the cause of the pond’s deterioration.

And in a debate on the South Pond project, editor of the online community magazine Midhurst Pages John Trueman claimed the iconic views of the pond had disappeared.

“Everything seems fine for the wildlife but no so good for the humans. We seem to have come off second best. Have we shot ourselves in the foot,” he asked.

But leader of the South Ponds Group Barbara Coote has stressed that the work is not yet complete and pruning and thinning work would continue.

She led a party of volunteers including members of the public and officers from the South Downs National Park in the planting of 600 bulbs around the pond, paid for with a grant from Midhurst Town Council.

“Wild daffodils, snowdrops, snakeshead fritillary and wood anemone were planted around the pond and at the beginning of Jubilee Path.

“Next spring they should emerge but it may be another year before they become really established and make an impressive show to join the crocuses that look so lovely near the bridge.”

She said the working party also removed rubbish thrown into the pond and tackled some willow saplings blocking the view of the pond from the benches near the road bridge on both sides of the pond.

“Chichester District Council will be doing some more work during the winter but the group thought it would be good to remove what we could to enable the view across the pond to be seen whilst people are sitting enjoying the autumn sunshine.”

Volunteer Linda Stubbs provided home-made scones and cake for volunteers and Fitzcane’s Ice Cream Parlour offered them free coffee.”

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