Villagers anger over pond work

ANGRY villagers last night accused a council of destroying a wildlife haven with maintenance work.They said work on the village pond had turned it into an “eyesore” and criticised officials at Babergh District Council for threatening the future of frogs, newts and fish.

ANGRY villagers last night accused a council of destroying a wildlife haven with maintenance work.

They said work on the village pond had turned it into an “eyesore” and criticised officials at Babergh District Council for threatening the future of frogs, newts and fish.

But the council last night defended the work on the pond, claiming it would enable the area to “survive and flourish”.

Village resident Stuart Poole said: “It is absolutely appalling and I am livid about the situation.


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“The pond has always been a pretty feature and children at the nearby primary school have gone there to feed the ducks. But now this seems to have been completely destroyed.

“A couple of weeks ago, it looked fantastic and now it is just an eyesore. The council came along to do some remedial work and dredge the pond. But instead they have put in some brick and rubble dam across the middle and dug up half of the pond.

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“Every bit of the wildlife has been destroyed by this huge mudpile and I know some residents have actually witnessed fish dying.”

The pond, at the entrance to Laurel Drive, was regularly used by local primary schoolchildren who would visit the area and feed the ducks. But Mr Poole said it yesterday stood fenced off with little or no sign of any of the once-flourishing wildlife.

A Babergh District Council spokesman said: “Babergh is carrying out extensive, essential maintenance of the Long Melford pond and this follows on from work started last year.

“We understand that at the moment it might not look at its most attractive but this work has to be done in order for the pond to survive and flourish.

“The maintenance has to be finished before wildlife becomes active and by the summer, when the foliage has had a chance to grow, it will look as good as ever.”

Long Melford Parish Council clerk Linda Goodban said: “We understand residents' concerns because the pond does look horrendous at the moment.

“We are certainly aware it looks stark and severe but it is on the second phase of a design maintenance program drawn up by Babergh District Council.

“We have been assured these problems are only short-term and once it is completed, it will improve the pond much more than we even hoped for.”

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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