THANKS in large part to a fundraising rally from the Isle of Wight community, Big Mead pond is filling up with water once again.

At the tail end of last week, Councillor Adrian Whittaker revealed work was well underway at the Shanklin site.

A digger was brought in to remove an estimated 300 tons of mud and silt as part of a project to restore the historic pond to its former glory. 

Two weeks prior, the community had rallied round to save 152 fish from the pond, which was losing water and starved of oxygen during a heatwave. 

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Isle of Wight County Press:

Cllr Whittaker says it could take in excess of 30 days for the pond to fill back up to capacity, and he is hopeful the fire brigade will assist. 

He said the Isle of Wight Council is now planning to erect deep water signage, as once the pond has naturally filled, there could be up to 6ft of water in places. 

"It was a pleasure working on this project," said Cllr Whittaker. 

Isle of Wight County Press:

"Shanklin Town Council has been working to resolve the issues at the pond for the last three years. 

"I would personally like to thank Brian and Sharon Cooper, Grant Scarsella, Lee Jefferies, Cllr Robert May, Cllr Mark Jefferies and the ten volunteers who responded to our Facebook plea at the weekend.

"Finally, I want to thank the residents of Shanklin who gave us their support, and all those who donated to the GoFundMe.

Isle of Wight County Press:

"Without you all, this would never have happened. 

"Thank you, everyone, for your patience and hard work."

Isle of Wight County Press:

Just shy of £2,000 is needed to cover the work, and a fundraising page was set up to raise the money.

The fundraising link can be found by clicking here.

Volunteer, Sharon Cooper, said: "My husband Bryan and I have really enjoyed working alongside Adrian and the other volunteers in restoring a much-loved pond for the local community and have met some amazing people.

"We would like to thank the community for their patience and support.

"We had so many volunteers turn up to help get it ready for the deadline for the water to go in. 

"We had only a week's notice."