Sheepwash Pond

Sheepwash Pond is an ancient pond, at one time the largest of several on the old Prestwood Commons.   It sits alongside an old drovers road and was used as a watering place for animals on their way to market.    It is situated on Honor End Lane,  about a quarter of a mile from the centre of Prestwood.

Ponds like this were also used for washing sheep before shearing or selling at market because clean sheep commanded higher prices and fleeces had to be washed before they could be combed and spun by home weavers.

Before restoration
During restoration
Sheepwash Pond today

Early in the twentieth century the pond fell out of use and became badly neglected. 

The restoration project was started in the autumn of 2007 with funds provided by various local bodies. Later, the pond was planted with native species by Prestwood Nature and local residents.

During 2008, phase two of the project saw the planting of a native mixed hedge, construction of a dipping platform and laying of a wood chip path leading to it to provide better access to the water edge.

The pond has been successful in that it holds water all year round, providing an aquatic habitat for newts, frogs, invertebrates and birds. These in turn provide educational pond dipping activities for local groups of children.

Regular activities at the site now concern the ongoing maintenance required; trimming of the hedge to level with the fence, picking up litter on a regular basis, weeding of the path, replacing wood-chip, checking bird and bat boxes and removing excess vegetation from the margins of the pond. More relaxing activities are the recording of sightings of insects, birds, bats, amphibians and plants which are as important if we are to understand our local environment and be able to preserve or improve it.

Dipping Platform
Dipping in the rain!
Watching the ducks
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