I have received an update on Paul’s Pond from the Country Parks officer, as follows:

“Thanks for your e-mail concerning the extended closure of Paul’s Pond and Breary Marsh. As stated in the “Important Notice” attached to the barriers around the aforementioned sites the works will include path re-instatement.

We are extending the closure of the paths through Paul’s Pond and Breary Marsh for another two weeks. Hopefully this will be more than enough for us to complete the works at Paul’s Pond. We are in the final phase which involves the refurbishment of the paths around the dam area, clearance of debris in the valve chamber, installation of cages on the outflow pipes, new valve chamber lid, valve spindles attached to enable opening of the valves at the top of the valve chamber and repair of the valve chamber culvert end which faces the wood.

The big works of removing the trees on the upstream and downstream face of the dam is complete, wild flower turf is now laid to the consolidate the downstream face (embankment), desilting complete by the dam wall and trees off the golf course culvert which provides the water to the pond. Most important of all we have dealt with the leak into and around the valve chamber and put in a proper forebay area to protect the new outflow pipes from silt encroachment.

Not long ago there was an attempt to get a grant to de-silt the pond through the use of suction pumps and depositing the silt in front of the willows. This grant application was not a success which in many ways was just as well as the silt content in the bed of the pond was not great and any pumping would have interfered with the boulder clay base beneath the silt. We are still unsure on how the water is retained in the pond because the dam wall does not provide the impermeable barrier. We think it is a mixture of a clay bottom to the pond and a clayish mix behind the dam wall which expands in contact with the water to effect the impermeable barrier. Because of the uncertainty the reservoir engineer has insisted that we do not interfere with the pond bottom and the sediment close to the dam wall more than necessary.”