The first task was to dig out the reeds by the roots. The reeds have taken over and stilted the pond – and literally sucked the life water out of it. This work had to be done carefully in order not to hurt the wildlife living in this muddy environment. Frogs were the most prolific animal found and had to be carefully relocated to a safer area.
Horsewell Pond got its name from the fact that it used to be a drinking well for horses. The base of the pond was lined with brick and stone in order to take the weight of the visiting animals. Good for horses – but it made the digging much more difficult for the volunteers!
The pond is also nicknamed ‘Duck Pond’ which is not a reference to the feathered bird, but to the ducking-stool which was apparently located there in times gone by. Troublesome and angry women who committed the crime of ‘breaking the peace’ by arguing with neighbours in raised voices would be punished by being placed in a chair and ducked (submerged) in the pond.
This was just the first day of a campaign to return water to the pond and help restore the small site down Ivy Lane. Thanks to Jim, Brian, Kathryn, Sue, Ray, John and Harriet, for lending a hand – and particular thanks to Scott, Jenny and Owen from Hedon Youth Club.
If readers have got other stories to share about the pond and its history, then please leave a comment below. Watch this space for notice of the next community event at the pond.