Pond Restoration

By 2006 the pond at Hanley Swan was in a sorry state. Over 100 ducks, half a dozen geese and assorted moorhens were causing serious problems of pollution and erosion, since vegetation had little chance to get established before being eaten. To make matters worse, many visitors cannot resist feeding the ducks with bread, much of which falls to the bottom of the pond and rots, making the water slimy and unable to sustain plants. And the duck landing stage in the middle of the pond was disintegrating.

The first stage in restoring the pond was for volunteers to make willow revetments to stabilise the banks. The geese were removed and the number of ducks reduced to give the pond a chance to recover its picturesque appearance. Then in 2009 Russell Farraday designed three new floating duck houses, built by Barry Bruton, and installed them around the willow tree.

The new pond warden, Neil Verlander, ably assisted by Gigi, the Duckmeister, organised a group of volunteers to clear the scrub that had accumulated in the woodland behind the pond over 30 years. He made an appeal for donations of Malvern stone to reclaim the bank and received over 20 tons of rock, which was transported and laid by a Community Service workforce. Francis Harcombe supplied topsoil and heavy equipment.

Picnic benches have been installed and a programme of planting carried out, including over 600 daffodil bulbs, all donated by the Café & Market. Floating duck food is being sold in the shop and the pub, and the pond is now looking better than it has for many years.


  1. Rob Shaw
    Posted Jan 7, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Was nice to come across this site and articles about the pond and Hanley Swan. I spent a few happy child hood days here when visiting relatives (Cox family) in cottages in welland Rd. The bakery was still open and i see on google that the whitewash sign on the gable end can still be seen. I always remember a water pump in the back of our relatives cottage–dont know if its still there. could anyone confirm if there was another pub at the end of welland road other than the Swan over the other side

    • Admin
      Posted Jan 7, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      Hi Rob

      The Ewe and Lamb was in the Welland Road – I’m not sure when it closed, but it was still open when we moved here just over 30 years ago.

  2. Garry Pattison
    Posted Aug 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    I am very pleased with this news and to learn the beautiful pond is now restored to its former glory.
    I have a special relationship with the pond,having left the pub late one evening in February 1958 in a very relaxed frame of mind and walking straight into it,having to be rescued by my drinking companions.