Pondscape project welcomed

The new pond area in the Burn Valley
The new pond area in the Burn Valley

CONSTRUCTION work to create a new pond at a popular garden area has started.

The Hartlepool Urban Pondscape Project, which is funded by the SITA Trust, is creating a network of clean water ponds in various parks and green spaces across town to expand the current provision and and improve ecological links between publicly-owned green spaces.

Work started this week on one of the ponds in Burn Valley Gardens, off Brinkburn Road.

Council chiefs say the high quality clean water ponds have been designed using current “best practice” and the council’s ecologist has surveyed each site to ensure that no existing wetland habitat are compromised.

The project will create eight ponds at six sites across the town, with the excavation and fencing works being carried out by Tees Valley Wildlife Trust. 

That will leave a series of fenced holes in the ground which will be planted up by the volunteers with native wetland plants supplied by the Wildflower Ark. 

The Burn Valley Gardens pond is the largest one in the £24,000 project and the work includes a board walk and dipping pond.

It will be created in a very wet area in the Burn Valley, which local councillors say will add greater habitat variety and increase the “educational value” of the park.

Once the basic infrastructure is in place, the site will be planted by the wardens and volunteers with aquatic and semi-aquatic plants.

Labour councillor Jonathan Brash, who represents the Burn Valley ward and chairs the Burn Valley Gardens Steering Group, has welcomed the project.

Coun Brash said: “Once again we are seeing the winning combination of dedicated residents, talented officers and local councillors coming together to secure external funding and bring real positive change to the Burn Valley Gardens.

“The wetland area in the upper gardens has presented a problem for sometime.

“This ingenious idea of converting it into a pond, complete with boardwalk, will certainly be a massive improvement to the area and provide major educational opportunities for young people.

“This project is part of the wider changes we have, and will continue, to see in the gardens that makes them such an enormous asset to our local community.

“I would encourage everyone in Hartlepool, if they have a bit of free time, to come down and see these wonderful gardens in all their splendour.”

Construction work has also started in Ward Jackson Park, in the West Park area of Hartlepool.

l Tomorrow we go Down Your Street for Park, Grange, Dyke House and Stranton.