Volunteers Nathan Hume and Michael Smith did all the pond-digging, helped by Neil Summer and John Smart

Volunteers were not afraid to get dirty as they dug out an old pond in Billericay to create a "hidden jewel" for wildlife.

The work at Sun Corner signifies the start of the site being turned into a memorial field, which will take shape over the next four years.

The field, situated off Laindon Road, will be in memory of the First World War and work will be carried out on it for the length of time the war lasted.

Nathan Hume, 43, an ecologist and Essex Wildlife Trust volunteer who lives in Outwood Farm Close, Billericay, was delighted with how the remembrance field is taking shape.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Nathan Hume"]I am very happy, it has completely filled up with water. It doesn't look very good now but wait until you see it in the spring, there will be dragonflies there and loads of wildlife. We only dug it this weekend but you can already see wildlife taking to it. Birds fly over it and see the shimmer of the water through the trees and think 'oh, what's down there'?[/quote]-

Mr Hume owns landscape gardening company SH Goss and one of his workers operated the digger that was used to dig the pond. Wickford-based company 4SS lent the digger to the volunteers free of charge.

Mr Hume thanked them for the use of the digger, as well as Basildon Borough Council and the 10 volunteers who helped to clear the pond before the digger went in.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Nathan Hume"]It is a lovely bit of land and we thought 'why don't we turn it into a remembrance field'? – it just seemed apt. It hasn't been dug out for 50 years and now it has been brought back to life. I urge all local people to wander round to Sun Corner. It is a nature reserve in its own right, even though it's right up next to the High Street. It is just a minute's walk away. It's a real hidden jewel with badgers and kestrels there and I urge people to go and have a look.[/quote]

Article and image by Simon Murfitt, Brentwood Gazette

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