The stunning Frensham Little Pond, and Great Pond, in Surrey were created in the 13th century, when the Plantagenet King Henry III was on the English throne. The Bishop of Winchester wanted a fish supply for when he visited Farnham Castle and ordered that ponds should be created at Frensham.
It was formed by building an ironstone wall (some of the original stonework remains) across a shallow valley and damming a stream entering the other end of the pond, which came from a spring in the grounds of Silverbeck, Churt.
During the Second World War the pond was used as a tank training ground, but it was returned to nature in 1949 and has been managed by the National Trust since 1974. Frensham Little Pond is now a Site of Special Specific Interest, a Special Protection Area and a Special Area of Conservation.
It’s a sanctuary for wildlife with rare and vulnerable birds such as sedge warbler, reed bunting and great crested grebe as well as nightjars and woodlarks. Damselflies and dragonflies dart over the water in the warmer months. If you’re lucky you might even spot a scaly reptile – snakes and sand lizards thrive in the environment. We’ve only spotted one grass snake so far but they do like to keep themselves hidden!
First stop for us today was a fleeting visit to the Turn Cafe for a drink, cake and obligatory toilet break. It’s definitely worthwhile refuelling here as there are no other facilities around Frensham Little Pond. It’s also a wonderful place to just sit and admire the views across the water.
The cottage and tea hut (which is now the bird hide) are still here today. They were almost demolished by tanks and other assault weapons in the Second World War.
The landscape around Frensham Little Pond is just beautiful. From the Tall Scot pines trees and ancient oaks that surround the lake to the colourful mosiac of heather and bright yellow gorse.
There are many footpaths to explore and with it being a nice day we decided to take a stroll around the Little Pond. POD armed with a few essential items ‘just in case’ like swim shoes, a blanket and a Barbie colouring book. Plus of course the trusted muzzy which she really only needs at bedtime.
As well as taking a wander around the Little Pond, you can also hike to the Great Pond which is part of Frensham Common and managed by Waverley Borough Council.
We opted for the former as it takes around an hour – or a couple if you have a four year old that likes to stop! From trying on Mummy’s sunglasses to lots of climbing and jumping.
The walk around the Little Pond has a wide range of habitats including dry and wet heath, ponds, reedbeds, alder carr and a range of transitional phases from open heath to secondary coniferous and deciduous woodland.
Frensham Little Pond is a magnificent place to blow away a few cobwebs whatever the weather. When the sun is shining its just heavenly.
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