Important Notice in Red

HOLDEN POND – Fish Removal


On Friday 10th June 2022, the fish were removed from Holden Pond by order of the Town Council.  This was an emergency decision that did not allow us time for advance community notification, so we do understand the volume of enquiries we have received.   The fish were removed in accordance with environment agency regulations by an experienced expert in fish health and pond management.  They have been removed to a safe, quiet, pond, where they will be health-checked and rehomed.  They were in distress and this situation needed to be addressed immediately.  Unfortunately, our contractor had to go back for a second time on Thursday 16th June, and will do a final sweep of the pond in the week commencing 20th June.  This is due to the high amount of rubbish and debris that has been thrown in the pond such as shopping trolleys, which caught on the nets.  Please be aware that it is normal for fish to come to the surface more in warmer weather and it does not mean they are in distress, so any visitors to the pond may notice this and be alarmed – please do not worry.

Council Members voted to ban fishing at Holden Pond last year, following the increasing number of complaints we were getting about illegal fishing and fish abuse.  Moreover, the intention was to return the pond to a more traditional pond environment, with rich planting and restored bird islands.  Sadly, shortly after making this decision and installing signs about no fishing, we lost the support of the police and could only be included on the Kent Wildlife Crime Team patrol that covers the whole of Kent.  However, the police need to be notified if there is continuing anti-social behaviour and this can be reported to them online or by calling the non-emergency 101.

As a small Town Council, we do not have the resources to police the pond, increasingly a focal point for anti-social behaviour and animal cruelty.  This situation became critical in the last few weeks as we entered the warmer months and reports of illegal fishing and fish abuse escalated.  Moreover, the pond began to stagnate when the sprinkler system failed, leaving the fish in distress.

Whilst we fully understand that there are many responsible fishers in our community, the well-being of the fish was our priority.  Our pond expert also advised us that the fish have also contributed to the destruction of the previous pond planting, so given the circumstances, Council Members have tried to make the best decision for the fish, whose welfare is paramount, as well as for long-term pond health, and for residents of Holden Corner, who have had to endure the anti-social behaviour.  We were always looking at removing the fish but were hoping to do this at the same time as planned improvement works, which we hope to carry out in the cooler months, as per the advice we have been given.  We are gathering quotes for works and this will go before Council Members in due course, as they will make the final decision.  In the meantime, we will be repairing the fountain and re-attaching the current temporary floating island, as well as addressing some issues with the banking on one side.

Council Members want to encourage richer biodiversity for wildlife at the pond and the return of the ducks, so we hope you will support us in this endeavour.

We will post updates here but if you have any queries, please email: