Horsham Park

Horsham Park Pond Project

From summer 2021 until autumn 2022 we are undertaking essential maintenance and improvement work to improve the health of Horsham Park Pond.

As well as being a popular visitor attraction, the Horsham Park Pond is an attenuation pond. This means it gathers excess surface water, alleviating pressure and capturing pollutants that may otherwise enter the River Arun.

The pond has now become heavily silted which reduces its capacity for storage. In addition, the sluice requires repair.

The project will include the dredging and excavation of silt that will be deposited in the park, near to the pond for a period of at least nine months to dry out. Work of this nature has been undertaken twice before, most recently in 2002.

The first stage of preparation work started on July 26 2021.

All works will be undertaken with as little physical impact and long term effect on the park as possible.  

There will be no work undertaken at the weekends to minimise visitor disruption.

An overhead shot of Horsham Park pond at its lowest height

Planned improvements

The improvement work completed so far include:

  • selectively removing trees to create gaps in the fringe vegetation allowing more light in and opening up viewpoints;
  • clearing a shrub area on the western side of the pond with a view to re-landscaping;
  • removing the sediment in the bottom of the pond which in the long term will help to improve the quality of the water and the health of the pond for wildlife and biodiversity.
  • repair to the sluice
  • reducing the number of fish, by re-homing the healthy native varieties, which will be beneficial in terms of water quality and biodiversity.
  • installation of the new boundary fence including 'Hedgehog Highway' tunnels.

Final work still to be completed include:

  • new planting schemes
  • landscape restoration of the removed sediment
  • second stage of selective tree removal and crown lifting
  • aesthetic improvements to the duck feeding area, central path and new signage.

How we have minimised any impact on wildlife

The desilting works were carried out in early autumn 2021, in order to avoid the bird nesting season and the time when the amphibians were at the least sensitive stage of their life cycle (i.e. eggs/larvae). We carried out a DNA survey for great crested newts and this concluded that great crested newts were likely to be absent from the pond.

The Contractor produced a Construction Environmental Management Plan prior to the works commencing which ensured that works ere carried out in compliance with environmental and wildlife legislation. This included measures to  avoid or reduce the impacts during the works activities to aquatic and terrestrial habitats and species.

Project timetable -  Works completed from July 2021

In order to make sure you're fully up to date, we've published the full project timetable below and will continue to keep it updated.