On Your Doorstep Issue 8 - Page 20

CLENNELL COLLINGWOOD RESTORATION OF SOUTHDOWN PONDS IN HARPENDEN The ponds are on the edge of the Common and run parallel Hertfordshire Highways agreed to manage the project, to Southdown Road. They were constructed over 100 years which included the installation of an interceptor to remove ago to receive rain run-off from the Town Centre and areas hydrocarbons, grit and heavy metals. As the ponds were draining into the High Street and Luton Road. There are two leaking, new liners were required. The ponds were drained, main ponds, which then drain into a soak-away consisting of and polluted silt removed, prior to new liners being laid. It a large reed bed. After heavy rain the amount of rainwater was found that it was not possible to bio-remediate the silt entering the ponds is quite large, which is managed through using bugs to digest the pollution. It was decided to remove the inter-connected ponds. the silt from the site. The installation of the interceptor was a major job in itself as it was 9 metres in length. It is now The large increase in traffic within the town resulted in the concealed beneath the grass bridge upstream of the ponds ponds becoming polluted by hydrocarbons and heavy metals and is not noticeable today. and represented a danger to health of visitors to the ponds and the wildlife. The Town Council, working in partnership with the Harpenden Society, raised the necessary funds to cover the In 2004, ‘Save Southdown Ponds’ was launched to regenerate interceptor and the pond renovations. the polluted and unusable ponds into an important 20 educational ecological site within Harpenden, for the benefit After all the construction and installation had been of schools, community and visitors to the area. A partnership completed, planting was carried out to ensure an was formed between Harpenden Town Council, Hertfordshire environment that was welcoming to both visitors and wildlife. Highways and the Harpenden Society, with the aim of The renovated ponds were officially opened in December identifying the problems and completing the renovation 2007 and are visited by many residents throughout the successfully. seasons.