Approximately twelve months ago the Kingfisher Pond developed a leak and water levels had to be temporarily lowered. When we dropped some drain dye down in front of the wall it appeared that the leak was in the area around the sluice. Divers subsequently confirmed this for us.
As a result water levels were lowered and bentonite clay, which expands when wet, was dropped in and around the front and sides of the structure. This, whilst not completely sealing the leak, greatly reduced the amount of water seeping through to the extent that the job was considered satisfactory.
Unfortunately during recent weeks water stopped flowing over the overflow and the level of the Pond dropped, in one instance, more than three feet in a week. More investigations were carried out and once again the leak stemmed from the sluice area. As a result hasty and temporary repairs have been carried out and the decision has been taken to empty the pond and take long term action to eliminate the problem.
Last week draining down began and a team of Environment Agency fisheries staff came to net out the stock ably assisted by a small number of volunteers.
The exercise took a full day and for those that were in the front line it was a tiring, wet, dirty exercise, but it was successful with almost 2000lbs of fish, a staggering amount for such a small pond, being removed to Burcliffe. The photograph below shows a small sample, approximately 10%, of the fish that were removed, and one of the perch.
At the time of writing some 2 feet of water remains in the pond, and no doubt a few remaining fish, and work will commence to remove this and any fish, during the coming days.
Already however it is clear, as was expected, that the water is leaking from below the sluice itself. Unfortunately resolving this problem, it seems, will be a big exercise, and we will be taking professional advice on how best to tackle it. We are determined however to carry out whatever work is necessary, as soon as possible, and to restock the pond so that we can all get fishing again.