Holden Pond Photo - August 2022

HOLDEN POND – Winter Update 2022

We want to provide an update on long-term plans for Holden Pond, in order to keep our residents informed that work continues behind the scenes to improve key green spaces that the Town Council own and manage.

Council Members asked the Southborough TC Team to investigate and obtain quotes for improvement works at Holden Pond, to increase biodiversity at the site and to encourage more wildlife to make it their home.  We also want to improve the aesthetic look of the pond, which has become sparse over recent years.  We want it to be a beneficial place for wildlife and a beautiful place for people to go to.

We had initially looked into draining down the pond, removing any remaining fish that were missed in the summer removal, and installing bird islands once more.  However, after investigating reinstalling bird islands, the costs involved are prohibitive.  One island could only accommodate one pair of birds and there is no guarantee that they would settle there, as they choose nesting sites based on how safe they feel and there are multiple threats at Holden Pond, given its location.  Holden Pond has very specific issues to contend with, especially due to the road and the impact of speeding traffic, as well as predators.  The expert advice that we have received is that birds have very specific needs for nesting and territory, which are better suited to larger ponds and lakes in quieter locations.

With this in mind, the Town Council want to take further advice and carry out ecological surveys.  We have been advised that it is more responsible to establish what wildlife is already thriving there, such as reptiles and amphibians, and to then put together a plan that is sensitive to this existing wildlife, but will further improve the pond for both wildlife and local residents.  In essence, we do not want to force the pond to be something specific, and instead wish to adopt an approach where nature decides how a site evolves and we simply encourage this process.

We would like to reintroduce appropriate planting and give the pond back some character that has been lost over the years.  We are currently liaising with ecological consultants to work on wildlife assessments and will keep posting updates as things progress, so that our community can be part of the conversation and can attend any meetings where Council Members are discussing the pond improvement plans.

Southborough TC Team