Major project to improve our wildlife in Burgess Hill

The pond at Fairfield Recreation Ground in Burgess Hill before the work
The pond at Fairfield Recreation Ground in Burgess Hill before the work

A major project to improve wildlife in Burgess Hill is being carried out.

Friends of Burgess Hill Green Circle Network (FoBGHCN) has teamed up with Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) to restore the pond in Fairfield Recreation Ground, which has dried out.

The pond after the work

The pond after the work

Dominic Moore, chairman of FoBGHCN, said: “It is a major project for wildlife and the community in Burgess Hill.

“This pond has been a breeding site for the protected great crested newt, as well as other amphibians, for over a century.

“However, the newt tadpoles do not normally develop lungs in order to be able to leave the water until early September.

“Therefore entire generations of these attractive animals have been lost during the last few years.

“FoBGHCN agreed with landowners MSDC to combine to tackle this problem after consultation with a local ecologist.”

Works carried out so far include the felling of the adjacent grey willows as their roots had grown through the pond bank and were ‘drinking’ a lot of the water.

The remains of the trunks and the root balls have also been removed.

During the autumn/winter season, MSDC contractors will excavate and then cover a land drain in the adjacent slope to channel rainfall into the pond, Mr Moore said.

Then it is hoped to obtain grant money in order to protect the restored wildlife pond with a hooped fence with gate, so that it can be used for supervised pond dipping by Burgess Hill Youth, young carers and the local Scouts branch.

READ MORE: Police appeal information after wildlife traps found in Burgess Hill

‘State-of-the-art’ sports hall in Woodlands Meed college plans

Teenagers assaulted by group of men in Haywards Heath park