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posted 19 Feb 2012, 13:08 by Westover Labour   [ updated 19 Feb 2012, 14:17 ]
Saturday morning saw a group of twenty or so residents turn out in their wellies and gardening clothes to clean up Westover's Brownes pond, just along by Elmwood Avenue.  With tools and expertise provided by Chris  Whitcombe and his British Waterways volunteer team and back-up from Rob Semple at Sedgemoor District Council, the Community made a concerted effort to smarten up their neighbourhood and in doing so restoring what was once one of Bridgwater's top beauty spots.

Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator, Terry Pope, said he had postcards of Brownes pond from 1905 after it had been reclaimed from its previous incarnation as a working brick pit for the local Brick and Tile works and he believed the pond and it's surround could be restored to its former glory for the wider use of the community. "Our aim is to set up a 'Friends of Browne's Pond' with the assistance of Sedgemoor District Council , Clean Surroundings and British Waterways . By taking ownership of the area we want people to feel a sense of respect for the place. We'd like to see families use the area for picnics, properly managed fishing and create a place where wildlife can  flourish".

'a blueprint for what can be done'

"The back up from Chris  and his waterways team has been invaluable, telling us which hedgerows to cut up and which not to, providing the equipment to get the job done . We'd like to see what we are doing here as a blueprint for what could be done in terms of the Meads development nearby and how the community can be trusted to get involved and manage similar projects'"

Chris Whitcombe , who became involved because of the proximity of the Pond to the British Waterways owned Bridgwater-Taunton canal, said "The response has been very encouraging. Theres over 20 people turned out today including youngsters and residents and they've all worked really hard in cleaning up their amenity."

Friends of Browne's Pond

The next plan for Terry and his team is to officially set up the Friends of Browne's pond group and to take ownership of the space so they can restore it to its former glory. "We're taking it one step at a time" cautioned Terry, "We need to encourage people  to respect the area and we think that's working. When we started doing this we were filling eight black bags a day with litter and that's now down to just one. We'd like to see the Fishing better managed with proper fishing stations, we'd like to see families using the place and we want to establish and manage a wildlife garden."

Terry Pope can be contacted on  07974713361 or by email at