You may be wondering what has happened to the Rotunda Pond. Back in January, the pond was fenced up so the Council could drain it, remove all the silt and debris, repair some leaks, make some new planters and access ramps for the frogs and newts, and replant.
To our astonishment, when it was drained we found 14 live eels in the pond, which someone must have placed there. As eels are very voracious feeders, they should never have been put there and so have had a huge impact on the wildlife. This just demonstrates what mindless acts of vandalism can do.
After completing the work by replacing the pond plants with varieties that naturally aerate the water, the pond was refilled and the fences were taken away. Unfortunately, it was found that the weather had been too cold to allow the mortar to set properly so that leaks reappeared, the planters collapsed, and many of the plants were uprooted. It did not help that as soon as the fences were taken down, many people allowed their dogs to jump into the pond and cause further damage.
The pond expert who was overseeing the work, like all of us, was absolutely dismayed and will return to repair the pond properly.
City Parks will be putting up notices asking people to keep their dogs out of the pond to prevent disturbance of the wildlife, but if people continue to do allow their dogs in, legislation may have to be changed to keep dogs out of the Rose Garden and pond area altogether.