The plainly titled ‘Concrete pond’ is hidden away on the southern slopes of Butser Hill adjacent to the A3. Once an ancient dew pond it was concreted over at the turn of the last century and  then fell in to disrepair from the 1960s.

One of its last functions was to act as a safe store for all the ordnance ploughed up on the lower slopes during the 1950s when barley was being grown on the hill. Target Valley lies immediately to the south-west and was used as a military range from Napoleonic times.

By the year 2000 the pond was dry and full of spoil. This was all removed and a new reinforced concrete bottom laid. Two thirds of the brick walls were replaced and rendered, and the pond has held a perfect level ever since.

It provides a home to dragonfly and damselfly species, a small number of amphibians, and is used for drinking water by a wide range of wildlife.

The pond contains a great many Ramshorn snails and quantities of these are being removed from the water to be eaten by something. We have no idea what this could be and are appealing for information from anyone who might have seen this before.

Whatever it is tends to select the largest shells which can be almost an inch across, and then keeps a tidy pile of all the arisings. There is no shortage of snails in this pond and our concern is simply to find out what happens to them.

If you can help a small reward awaits.

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