Creating winter habitats at Newnham Village Ponds

Kate was asked to be the Sustainability Ambassador for Urbis Schréder and didn’t hesitate to say yes.   

Sustainability is something I think everyone feels passionately about especially as COVID has brought back the use of one-use antibacterial wipes along with the thousands of discarded face masks we all have lying around now.  I wanted to do something that helps towards the goal of having a sustainable planet, and although not one person alone can achieve this it has to be a whole worldly effort, we can all do our bit to help.

Kate Pickard
Marketing Communication Manager

She decided not to waste any time and quickly picked up the mantle, she kicked off with a group meeting with all Schréder countries attending and putting their ideas forward, and was asked to look at local initiatives counties could could take part in, so tasked with initiatives to give back to the community Kate worked with Basingstoke Voluntary Action Group (BVAG) to see what initiatives the team at Urbis could help with. 

It came clear that the BVAG had been working with a local parish council and they were looking for 10-12 people to take a day to help them plant up a local wildlife area to build winter habitats for the wildlife along with a good weed and tidy for the residents so that they could enjoy the area. 

Working with Su Turner, from the parish council a date was set to attend site at Newnham Ponds near Hook.  Tasks to be completed included:

  • Clearing all brambles away from the bigger pond.
  • Scarifying the grass area to take away all dead areas and moss and to get it ready for planting.
  • Clearing the right-hand side of the pond from all dead plants.
  • Clearing our and cutting back all ditches around two areas that had been allowed to grow for insects in the summer.
  • Planting up three areas, the bank to the right of the pond, the pond area either side of a path and a common just over with seeds and bulbs for the spring. 
  • Cutting out 50% of the willow from around the small pond. 

The team got to work straight away after dividing the jobs out between us all.  With rain look to be onset for the afternoon we wanted to achieve as much as possible in the morning and after lunch before the weather turned.  We had a cold but bright day to work in and managed to complete all tasks by 1pm.  Leaving us to enjoy a fabulous lunch in the local pub to round off the day. 

Thank you to you and the team very much for coming out yesterday and the brilliant job on all tasks. Jason our Parish Lengthsman was constantly saying he couldn’t believe how much was done. It was lovely to meet you all, and hope no-one the worse today with aching arms and shoulders from all the raking! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and will keep you updated with photos when things start growing.

Su Turner
Newnham Parish Council

In addition to helping the team out we bought and supplied the tools required to complete the tasks so that Su could keep them for future projects and volunteer groups to use.  We plan on revisiting the site in the spring so we can see how we have helped impact the environment and habitats of the local wildlife, not to mention helping the local community in a small village to keep the area tidy and usable in the colder winter months.  

Thank you to all our volunteers, Gary, Hannah, Olly, Mark, Shay, Sunita, Hayley, Jon, Dave, Christina, and Dean.  I couldn’t have done it all by myself we made a great team!

Kate Pickard
Marketing Communication Manager