Thursday, 25 November 2010

Hollicombe Duck Pond

This is the duck pond in Hollicombe Park. That is it used to be a duck pond. It sprang a leak in the summer and most of the water went somewhere else. Bad news for the fish in the pond and bad news for the ducks who ended up living on the nearby beach before other accommodation could be found for them. Bad news for the small children who used to be brought here by their mothers' to feed the ducks.

The pond as you can see is circular. This is because when it was created the base of a gas holder was used back in 1970 when the gas holder became redundant. It had been hoped that the leak would be fixed, that would involve pumping out the remaining water, digging out a couple of thousand tonnes of soil and cleaning down to the brickwork. Once the brick work has been cleaned the leak has to be found and repaired. Then the soil put back and suitable vegetation planted and fish re-introduced. Not a massive job compared to building the International Space Station but never the less not one Torbay Council wish to undertake in these times of financial worry.

Next to this former gas holder is a smaller circle which is completely filled in and grassed over and

Ali-Way Community Recycling Enterprise which is based Hollicombe Community Resource Centre have a plan to use these two stone circles. The smaller one will become a Wild Life Garden and the larger one, the former duck pond, will be the site of a

Recycled Sculpture Trail. A what? I hear you mutter. No they are not going to tour the country looking for unused Henry Moore sculptures and plant the in the circle. The scrap sculptures will be made out of the materials we are presently and carefully putting in boxes every week to be collected by TOR2 and sent of the be recycled in a desperate but futile attempt to save the planet. Actually I don't have a problem with that idea. What I do have a problem with is where it's going. I.E. in the former duck pond. In order to create a Wild Life space in the smaller circle it will have to be dug up to some extent and to make the sculpture trail on the old duck pond it will have to be filled in. The old duck pond is half way towards being a wild life park as it is so why not make both it and the smaller circle an even larger wild life space and use the large space that is available future down the park where a 3rd gas holder once stood. (See 2nd photo).The area is doing nothing at the moment and is already covered with asphalt and perfect for the job. Then if money does become more freely available we can easily restore this much loved duck pond, even if it is only loved by the ducks, generations of whom have lived there.

To tell the truth the only way I can see the duck pond being restored is if a large enough group of volunteers come along with buckets, spades and bags of cement and do the job themselves. Back in the sixties all over the North of England canals had become clogged up and overgrown and no official body had the money or the will to fix them. That hundreds of canals are still in existence today is because they came under the care of such volunteer groups.


Cabbie J said...

What you COULD do is fill it back up with hot water and throw about a pallet's worth of jelly packets in. Once its set - no more leaks

David said...

I have a feeling the council are too determined to turn the pond into a scrap sculpture theme park to try any ideas at all.

Ex DG said...

Problem is that sludge in the bottom is probably toxic after all the gas that was held in those gasometers, so digging it out and repairing it is probably not an option

David said...

The other problem with trying to do anything about the duck pond is that it will take attention away from the building of houses on the actual gas works site. Local people, particularly parents are seriously concerned about any toxix dust making it into a local school when the site is finally cleaned prior to building.

Pat said...

Lovely to see all this waste that I am carefully sorting out in appropriate bins on a daily basis being put to good use by the Council in scrap sculptures.
It makes the whole sorry business of sorting out waste worthwhile.
The Greeks and the French (who will certainly not be bullied by their municipalities into sorting out their household waste) will only gaze in wonderment at our waste sculpture exhibition. Whatever next?