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The Horsepond Restoration Project

 

The Project
The Horsepond, one of the main historical features of Castle Cary is in need of restoration to return it to its former glory. A group of volunteers have  been maintaining the pond for many years, keeping the weed at bay but not able to do much more besides that.
In April 2019 we started an appeal, The Horsepond Restoration Project and through donations and crowd funding we were able to raise over 7,000 to enable us to restore the pond to its former glory.
Phase 1 was completed on schedule in August 2019 with the substantial planting out of the pond by The Dorset Lilly Company.
Despite the challenges of  2020, we have now been able to  commence phase 2 
 See project update below for more information.

 

Phase 2 of the restoration begins...

Project Update June 2020

A massive thank you to Julian Shave Three Counties Landscaping for providing all the plants and labour free of charge to help us with phase 2 of the project. We have now been able to plant out the entire length of  the rear wall of the Horsepond.
Julian has put a lot of thought into the planting so that there will be colour in both the spring and summer as well as evergreen leaves throughout the year. The plants have also been chosen to attract insects and butterflies. Monarda, lavender, chrysanthemums, Skimmias, Narcissi and Rosemary amongst the  selection of plants planted.
The majority of the plants planted in August have over wintered well and are beginning  to  show. Some have grown very well, so much so, that we have been able to divide them up already to fill up more of the pond.
We are currently exploring adding a fountain as an additional feature but also as a means of further oxygenating the water. Originally there used to be a fountain dating back to 1897 which was removed at some point in the 20th century. Rumour has it that it is still around somewhere in Cary or Ansford in somebody's garden. It would be great to discover if this is in fact the case.
We are also working on a solution to enable us to stock the pond with some fish and who knows some ducks?
Thank you once again to everyone who is supporting the project.
The Horsepond Restoration Project Volunteers.

 
Project Update May 2020

The project got off to a great start in 2019 and by August phase 1 of the planting had already been completed. The  volunteers continued with the upkeep of the Horsepond over winter and then like everyone else were hit by Covid-19 in early spring, which put a stop to the project.
However, since the easing of the lockdown restrictions, we have been able to get back into the pond to get on with the  project. 
The quality of the water has improved dramatically over the past 6 months and we have seen an  increase in the  flow which  has helped to  reduce the build up of blanket weed. The majority of the plants have taken well, so much so, that we have  been able to divide and re-pot  to increase the number of plants in  the pond.
We have  been experimenting with the use of sacks of barley straw in several parts of the pond. It is  supposed to inhibit the growth of blanket weed. Perhaps this is why the pond is that much cleaner but we can only surmise that this is the reason why.
To the rear of the pond is a retaining wall. We have  sunk several planting containers along the entire length of the wall into which we will  be planting a flowers which we hope will attract wildlife as well as giving a display of colour throughout the  summer. 
A special thanks goes to Martin Haskett Agricultural Contractors for supplying us with all the topsoil and to John Churchouse for supplying the tubs..

 

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