On 14th June 2011, H&DAA conducted a trial to determine whether dredging parts of Birchenbridge Pond was a viable exercise to improve the depths and consequently the fishing experience for members.

The photos below show the work being carried out.

... Just before it was decided it was not safe to continue.  There a severe risk of the excavator becoming totally stuck in the mud!
The 13 ton excavator arrives ...
... And unloads.
Ready to go ...
... Down the access path members had cut.
... The bucket comes up laden with silt.
The moment of truth - just how firm is the bottom? ...
The dredging continues ...
... And at full stretch, as the excavator creeps into the lake, it begins to sink into a quagmire.
The results! ...

The constant vibration, turning to unload, moving backwards and forwards turned what started as a firm base into a morass.

The Fishery Officer will now assess with the Contractors and the Estate, what other options and viable opportunities exist to progress the work. What has become obvious (and something we always suspected) is that this lake has a phenomenal depth of silt even very close in - the excavator operator estimated that in under 1.5 hours he had easily removed 20 cubic metres of silt within a fairly close arc of the bank. The good news is that the reed bed has gone and a fishable swim has been created from nothing.

H&DAA would like to offer it’s thanks to Mr Charles Scrase-Dickins of the Trustees for the Pond for proposing and resourcing this initiative.

Members should  be aware that the bank will not have consolidated yet and will be slippery and messy for quite a while yet.

Watch this space for developments!

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