Pond life – free fun for all the family!

Are you fascinated by the freshwater wildlife lurking beneath the depths?

If so, a fantastic free event in the National Park aims to help people discover more about the amazing biodiversity of our ponds.

The Insect Discovery Day will be held on Saturday, July 13 from 10am to 1pm at South Pond in Midhurst.

Midhurst’s South Pond has a fascinating history. It’s as old as the town itself and is fed by two streams which were once the boundaries of Saxon settlements.

The South Pond was formed when one of the medieval lords of Midhurst dammed the streams with the intention of making a breeding pool for the fish, which the household ate on Fridays and in Lent.

For many years the Pond suffered from general neglect but several years ago a determined group of residents formed the South Pond Group with the aim of improving water flow and creating a wildlife haven in the heart of Midhurst.

The introduction of reeds, sedges and flowers like yellow iris and purple loosestrife have now encouraged freshwater invertebrates, amphibians and warblers to flourish.

The Group’s work has been supported by Chichester, District Council, The South Downs National Park Authority and Midhurst Town Council.

Anne Rehill, a volunteer for the group, which is organising the event, said: “Our Insect Discovery Day promises to be a great morning out for people of all ages and there’ll be lots of fun bug-related activities.

“We’ll be identifying moths living around the pond, discovering wildlife in the water, and counting bees. It’s also a good opportunity for people to find out more about the history of the pond and its transformation.”