Oakwood Pond Harlow and the surrounding wooded area lie to the North of Fourth Avenue, East of Hodings Road, South of Upper Park and West of Princess Alexandra Hospital. The pond and the surrounding wooded area has been falling into a state of neglect over the past 10 years rendering the pond almost inert of aquatic life. The area is characterized by many mature trees and scrub surrounding it, providing the leaf litter which has contributed to the huge build-up of silt. This project will regenerate the area by restoring Oakwood Pond to its former pristine beauty by providing a calm and tranquil habitat for local wildlife to flourish, enhancing biodiversity and improved water quality through the restoration of aquatic plants and reinstating the pond thereby creating a popular fishing facility for the local community. These outcomes would be achieved through the participation of volunteers from the local community and the benefits would be made available to everyone.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Enhancing the biodiversity of the site and reinstating the pond as a fishing pond would deliver multiple benefits to the local habitat and local community. the site would be opened up to the local community by being more inclusive, ensuring disabled access and providing a safe space for for the local community to use the site to walk, sit and reflect, fish and observe wildlife. This would provide educational and recreational benefits in addition to flood risk reduction benefits as well. Moreover the use of locally sourced wood to create street furniture celebrating the historical, conservation and wildlife features of the area which date back to the middle ages further promotes sustainability in addition to highlighting the heritage of the area. Upon completion of the tree works, Harlow College students will be building a number of bird boxes including owl boxes. These will be installed by an arborist on advice from Essex Bat Group and Harlow Conservation Volunteers.
Steps to get it done:
Proposed Works 1) Landscape management a) Vegetation zones 1 and 2: the proposed works will remove all the brambles and saplings and a number of conifer species. b) Vegetation zone 3: the proposed works are to clear all of the trees and brambles/scrub in this area offering views from the South-Eastern entrance over the pond. c) Vegetation zone 4: proposed works are to lightly thin out the tall trees retaining the best specimen trees. 2) Enhancement of the pond: this will involve silt removal and installation of a floating island 3) Access: a circular disabled access route is planned to encompass the pond 4) Street Furniture and interpretation: this would be installed in 4 locations around the pond benches, each with a litter bin. Four Carved oak panels will be designed and carved up by a local artist. two large interpretation panels will be installed; one celebrating the history linked to the site. 5) Bird and Bat boxes: These will be installed by an arborist.
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