There's been a lot of curiousity about what's been going on at the Bishop's View.

 Aerial View 2013

The ducks have been on the move in protest. Several villagers have been curious about the hedge and tree felling taking place along The Bishop's Way. Some have stopped to peep in to note the drained pond. Others have asked outright – what's going on?
The Old Rectory grounds have had many resurrections from the formal Italianate gardens through to sanctuary for war-time evacuees and, latterly, the scene for village games. The photographs show the different points of evolution. Piano-smashing is not something we've thought about restoring even though 2 very well-known residents feature in this photograph.

Piano Smashing 1972Old Rectory from Tower in SnowDo you recognise them? The extensive landscape originally spread from the long wall along Wilby Road to the far side of Woodfields with just a few landmark trees and structures remaining today. Most of the land has been built on creating a difference of opinion in the village as any development project does and some neighbours have been concerned that the latest work might bring about further building.

However, this is to save an ancient pond which is currently dying and to provide a wildlife haven in a new hedge as a boundary. I do not think there is anyone in the village who has liked the enormous wall of Leylandii trees along The Bishop's Way as it simply cast a gloomy pall over residents without the benefit of being an attraction to birds. The pond had become a sludge-filled, brown bath for 50 ducks who had helped to destroy any vegetation in it and subsequent pond-dwellers. No frogs, fish, pond-skaters, voles, kingfishers – all which did exist when we moved in 15 years ago. Something had to be done. Hence what appears to be drastic action.

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We have taken advice from many sources including the RHS, Suffolk Wildlife Trust and our local experts – Luke Heydon, Matthew Hammond, Barry Day, Alan Flatman and Peter Smith – not only to ensure we do the job properly but that the replacement is appropriate for the landscape and wildlife to bring the whole area back to life and so we can all enjoy the results in time with the return of a full range of birds, mammals and insects in a clean pond and a vibrant mixed hedge providing shelter and food. It is a big, messy job and we would like to express our thanks to all our neighbours for their tolerance and support.

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We are trying to recycle as much material as possible with the rest of the garden enjoying the extra water pumping onto it from the pond and the wood going to fuel several friends' wood-

P1000613burners through next Winter. If we find shopping trolleys, old bikes or even a full bathroom suite at the bottom please put in a bid. Any gold or silver we'll keep! The spoil is going to be spread on a local farmer's land to help enrich it and improve the structure so we are hoping for very little waste if any.

Watch this space for further updates, more pictures will be added to the gallery as work progresses.

As for the ducks.........free to a good home!

 

The Old Rectory Pond Renovation Phase 2

It has been a real pleasure having so many people in the village and beyond taking an interest in this project and taking the time to come and have a look and chat about the development. thumb P1000623 1024

 

There have been many memories shared of the original pond with tales of garden parties, swimming races and fishing. Several have dropped hints about reinstating sufficient fish stocks to reintroduce fishing afternoons. 

thumb P1000628 1024As can be seen from the latest photos, Barry and Tim Day have worked wonders with their diggers and trailers and there is now a very large empty pond measuring nearly 80m long, 20m wide and 3m deep.

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None of the spoil has been wasted as it has been spread on a local field alongside the usual manure ready for ploughing in and enhancing both the structure of the soil and its nutritional value. Sadly, nothing of any interest was revealed except for 1 solitary china cup totally intact!
Miraculously, they believe that it will be full of water by next Spring simply from an average rainfall between now and then. Just in time for next year's Triathlon, perhaps?

 


thumb P1000637 1024Please do keep pond-watching and let us know of any memories you have of the site so we can record them for future generations.

 

Gillian Rennie-Dunkerley