- Category: Decoy Pond
- Last Updated: Saturday, 05 November 2011 17:13
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Background & Aquisition.
Some years ago, the fishing club approached the then current management of Swallowfield Park House to secure a formal contract for the exclusive rights to fish and maintain the decoy pond with the grounds of the park as an extra and alternative venue to the Blackwater & Loddon Rivers that the club already rent from Lord Bearstead and Farley Farms Estates. Unfortunately the formal contract drawn up between the house owners/management was never signed, and a short while later the then owners/part owners/management ceased to be leaving the club unsure about the decoy pond. This process had been ongoing through various club committees over the years with no real success. Verbal accounts from some of the longer standing members of the club recall the first dredging attempt with a floating dredger back in around 2000 and an EA fish stocking of around 1000 Roach & Rudd. Although these definately took place, sadly no photographic account was kept.
The early usage of the Decoy Pond, as the name suggests, was for attracting ducks etc for shooting by the house owners as food for the table, but we are unaware of how long it was used for this practice. The House and the Decoy Pond historically date back to the early 1800's with the current pond shown on one map dated 1806, with four other ponds on the estate and the canal which linked the River Blackwater by Swallowfield Church to the River Loddon at the end of the Swallowfield Park House estate. All of which are no longer present.
In 2007, the new owners of Swallowfield Park, Sunley Heritage Ltd were approached by the club and negotiations commenced once again with regards to turning the pond into a fishery. A formal contract was dawn up over the period of a month or so with both parties agreeing on various arrangemnets that would fullfil both Sunley Heritage and Swallowfield Fishing Clubs needs and requests.