A team of mainly retired volunteers put their effort into those tasks the rangers cannot fit into a full schedule at Fleet Pond, Hampshire’s largest freshwater lake.
Calling themselves the ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ volunteers, they meet nearly every Friday morning.
Over the years they have repaired and upgraded footpaths, replaced damaged fences, installed “dog steps” to reduce erosion of stream banks by dogs, built a boat launch jetty, installed a History Board about the history of Fleet Pond and a pond dipping platform for children and have just completed installation of a new viewing platform.
One member of the LSW team is Chairman of Fleet Pond Society, Colin Gray, who works with the ranger service in co-ordinating the younger volunteers who attend the second Sunday volunteer tasks at the Pond. Colin joined FPS back in 1985 when he and his wife Mavis moved to Fleet.
Colin retired in 1996 so became available for voluntary tasks during the week.
Colin says “We felt there must be retired people who would like to contribute to the work for a very popular local amenity and would be free to donate some time and muscle during the week.
Terry Austin started the LSW team with a few of our retired members and that team has now a core of enthusiastic people, some with very useful skills. Others just come along and enjoy work in the open air”.
Terry Austin, “Compo” of the LSW team, was appointed Vice Chairman of Fleet Pond Society three years ago. This year he was one of the recipients of the High Sheriff of Hampshire’s Award for significant contribution to the local community.
Colin Gray, Chairman Fleet Pond Society