Development of the Linden Glade Pool 2023/4

In spite of all the work in 2016 on the Linden Glade Pool in 2018 the pool started to leak again badly. It seemed that the concrete liner was being cracked by growing roots of the Lime trees. We thus explored the possibility of creating a new pool in a different location but this was rejected by the Council.

An initial offer of some help from a local family was the final incentive for FSW to really get to grips with regenerating the Glade  Council approval was given for this at an on-site meeting on 18th January 2023.

On 29th January 2023 the Work Team visited Linden Glade to measure the existing pool in preparation for plans being drawn up for the development. The photos below show the condition of the pool at that time.

If you would like to contribute to the cost of this project, you can do so through Just Giving at 

After much discussion amongst Friends who knew about pool creation a draft plan was drawn up on top of a drone photograph with a proposed cross section.
The following 9 plants have flowered within the Linden Glade enclosure this year. 
(Date of sighting given for each photograph and species given where known.) 
 (np = new planting)
1 - Periwinkle - 11/2/24
2 - Bramble - 12/4/24
3 - White Foxglove - 24/5/24 (np)
4 - Purple Toadflax - 17/6/24 (np)
5 - Water Forget-me-not - 17/6/24 (np)
6 - Storksbill - 17/6/24 (np)
7 - Water Crowfoot - 17/6/24 (np)
8 - White flower on island - 17/6/24 (np)
9 - Yellow flower - 17/6/24 (np)
Entries below mark the development of the project in stages. These are shown reverse chronological order with the most recent activities at the top.
Stage 7 -  2024 - Planting the Surrounds & Pool

June 23rd 2024

Some fern thinning around the pool today. Think it might need a bit more but didn't want to take too much away to start with! 
June 16th 2024

The pool is looking pretty rich in plant life now and there are loads of insects over the water.

With dogs and people excluded by the new fence nature is able to take over.

April  7th 2024

Thanks to Ted's help, Linda was able to do more than expected at the Glade today now feels she can say her work is 'finished'! Well, enough for now - at least until seedlings appear. The log slice stepping stones are in place and FSWs mark a mixture of seeds (until rain washes the flour marks away!) and there are 3 other seeds in separate groups between them and on the soil patch on far right the photo. Common Vervain has been planted near the pool edge. It will be interesting what comes up - plus any of course that have been dormant in the soil for years! 

April  6th 2024

Linda did more work on the pool surrounds. She carried on working from the point where Jim had stopped digging earlier in the week - thanks to him for his hour or so of toil!

While there she took this photo of Water Boatmen on the surface. She plans to continue as far as the gate. We can then compare the two sides of the pool to see how each develop. 

The area behind the logs will need to done with hand tools as the periwinkle needs teasing out. There may be some largish buried rocks there that could be gradually dug out if we excavate  around them. It would be a shame to leave them out of sight if they are usable. 

The begging notice and collecting tub put out today whilst digging raised £1.50 in coins but most people probably don't have cash on them in the wood but nothing ventured, nothing gained! Once we've finished at the pool maybe we should hang the bucket on our trolley wherever we are working next.

April  4th 2024

Two water lilies were planted in the pool - one white one pink.
April  2nd 2024

At last Linda had time to get to the Glade on April 2nd  and worked hard enough to disguise the old entrance path and turn over the top soil as far as the stopcock. She hopes to finish it as far as the gate by the end of the month. At the moment it isn't too much like hard work as the rain has softened the ground and deep digging isn't needed where it is to difficult to get the fork in more than inch or two because of stones and roots in the way.  

A few small patches of grass were left or transplanted into the dug over void in the hope they make small landing places as we work round the area putting in new plants before the wooden stepping stones are ready to put in place. We don't envisage a continuous path but just random 'islands'.

Any more spare plants Valerie brings (or any that are surplus on the original BB bund) can be dotted anywhere in the dug areas. I do not intend to do anything more there after the end of this month so we can then hopefully see seedlings appear.

March  2024

In March 2024, Linda made several visits to carry out work on the compacted soil surrounding the pool in the area inside the fence. It was dug over and a few plants, donated by the Wilderness Gardener, were added. We were advised that they were possibly tough enough to survive there and give some colour to attract bees etc.

Some soil was shifted onto the bare cement showing around the rocks round the perimeter of the pool to make them look more natural and allow plant growth.

When planting some violets at either end of the memorial stone, a large flat stone was found in front of the memorial, presumably set there to form a base for the inscribed stone. Some of the growth around this was cleared.

A sign to explain the project was erected beside the pool.

Sunday 24th March 2024

I planted plants purchased by Valerie at Linden Glade this morning.  

Horseshoe Vetch can be seen in foreground of the top picture surrounded by large rocks I had found lying around to deter other plants invading its space as Valerie said 'it likes to be alone'. 

Other plants (plus some from Karen) were set mainly in the prepared area between the vetch and the stopcock. 

'Someone'  has planted a buddleia by the fence 👍 and I noticed someone else had scattered bird seed around beyond the stopcock towards the gate 👎. Personally I don't think it is really needed there as the wood should provide enough food for birds  and seeds could lead to growth of plants of unknown origin. 

I started to work today at the pool edge ( to the left of the cairn when standing at the gate) but it was slow going as there were so many matted roots of periwinkle etc. to get out. I also unearthed some old rocks! 

On arrival, I noticed  a cut tree trunk just outside the gate which had some moss on and a bend at just the right place to fit the 'curve' of the line behind the rocks set at the pool edge that side. I have laid it there  so it gives a bit of variety to the edging behind the rocks - see bottom photo.  It needs some more soil ( and plants) really to settle around it and under the end that sticks up a bit which is currently camouflaged by a foxglove to make it look more natural . I'll do that another day when I have more soil etc available from my remaining edge work and attention to the periwinkle. 

I wonder whether it would be a good place to consider a hibernacum or just a log pile behind the trunk - once I've got rid of more of the periwinkle ? I doubt I will ever clear it all! I don't really intend to clear it all anyway from the area beyond the foxglove end of the log down towards the memorial stone. That area can then be 'periwinkle mat' (plus other plants that appear of course) and the area along the front halfway between the fence and the pool, in my mind, I see as ' bramble mound'.

Stage 6 - September 2023 - Edging the Pool

Wednesday 13th /Thursday 14th September 2023 Work and result

On Wednesday the team placed all the edging stones ready for cementing in.  On Thursday they mixed the concrete and set all the stones more or less as placed on Wednesday. They left a few access areas around the edges for frogs and newts use. There are plenty of areas where soil can be placed or fill naturally with time, allowing plants to blend the outlines of the stones.

Wednesday 13th - Friday 15th September 2023 - pool edging

A group of our workers went to work on the pool edging on Wednesday.  Sand (22 bags) and cement (7 bags) had already been delivered to Linden Glade on 6th September by Woodside Timber and stored inside the fence covered with tarpaulins. Photos (top) show the pool before the work.

Friday 15th September 2023 Work and result

On Friday the team repaired the cairn and added more sand and cement around the pool edges. They also added some sand into the base of the pool which is recommended for some aquatic creatures. The pool has been heavily disturbed but will settle and establish now. It was another days hard work and they packed up about 4pm again. There is quite a lot of sand left over but FSW will probably use this to fill some of the muddy puddles around the area.

On Saturday 30th September Neale added a large dog bowl to the outside of the fence in response to requests from many dog walkers for a drinking bowl in Linden Glade. A photo of it was pasted on FB with an invitation to walkers to refill it when passing carrying water bottles.

Stage 5 - Filling the Pool

Saturday 19th August - pool starting to fill 

On Friday 18th August Mick refitted the gate. There was heavy rain overnight and the photo below left shows the water level on Saturday morning. The photo below right shows the first visitor to the new pool - a Common Toad on top of the cairn. A small frog was also seen in the undergrowth and a couple of dragonflies were hovering over the water.

Sunday 20th August - pool filling

On Saturday and Sunday water was added to the pool. The photo below left shows the final full pool. The close-up on the right shows that something has been in and left a trace in the sediment, possibly the frog which was spotted yesterday or possibly a newt. Dragonflies were seen hovering over the pool again.

Stage 4 - Fencing the Pool

Tuesday 1st August photos by Rosalyn Heaton & John Zareba

Mick Armstrong and his team from Fab fencing came to erect a fence around the pool. They met the supplier at the car park and loaded all the posts, gate and fencing into Mick's vehicle which then went round to the Vincent Avenue gate for easier access to Linden Glade. 

Recent rain had softened the ground so the insertion of the posts went smoothly. 

At the end of the day the gate was taken away to provide easy access for the fibreglassing. It will be rehung when the pool lining is complete.

The whole area within the fence will be landscaped after the pool is completed.

Photo above shows the work in progress and the others (taken on 2/8/23) show the completed fence  - still affording a clear view of the pool area. The gate was taken away temporarily to allow maximum access for the fibreglassing work.
Stage 3 - Fibreglassing the Pool

Sunday 23rd July 2023 - photos by Linda Morris

The pool was left under tarpaulin this afternoon after draining and drying - again! The intention was to prepare it for the fibreglassing to be done tomorrow but it has been cancelled because of forecast rain.

The photo on the left shows Linda & Jim finishing off the pool edge before the tarpaulin was laid.

Thanks to Neale, Jim, John and Linda for their work today.

The tarpaulin was removed on Monday as the fibreglassing will not now be done until the start of August.

Tuesday 18th Julyreport and "after" photo by Linda Morris - photos below show before and after cleaning

Jim and Linda took buckets, spades (snow scrapers actually) and brooms to the Pool to clear recent rain, dirt and gale debris. They were pleasantly surprised to see most of the water had dried up - just shows how quickly it disappears through the cracks and with evaporation! There weren't too many twigs either so the bulk of the work was sweeping to get as clean a surface as possible. David and Colin joined them soon after they started and the job was done within about 90 minutes.  

After a quick late elevenses break, they all returned to the tool store via the fallen tree at Noakes Way and cleared that - plus a few other overhanging branches encountered en route. 

Jim and Linda were very grateful for the additional help and are now hoping it doesn't get too wet or windy before Monday to mess up the old exposed pool basin again. They are planning to go again on Sunday afternoon for  one last sweep and to clean out the grooves around the rim as they didn't have the right equipment to do that today. 

Depending on the forecast, they might then  decide to cover the basin to try to keep it as dry and clean as possible overnight.

Linda will be there to let the fibreglass layer in on Monday morning and to lock up Vincent Avenue Gate again after them. Jim has kindly offered to support her at times during the day. They  are just hoping for fine weather! 

Friday 21st July - report and photos by Linda Morris

I've just spent almost two hours cleaning the grooves around the pool of the accumulated dried  soil but have run out of puff and time. There's really only the last curve in front of the large flat rock to finish off and the slope into the shallower area to the right of the cairn although I have already given the grooves their first sweep out with wire and hard brush. Examples of tools I had are in the picture but I really needed something larger to shift back  the clump of fern and brambles. 
Tuesday 15th August - preparing the surface

15th & 16th August

On Tuesday 15th August Linda welcomed the Oliver Connolly & the GoWild Outreach team to help with clearing out the pond ready for the fibreglassing.

We are grateful to them not only for the baling out and sweeping but also for pulling the trolley laden with donated rockery stones and for the collection of small stones ready for the ballast needed when resetting the rocks around the edge. 

Later the Zarebas swept up the last of the dried mud and dried the surface with blowers.

On Wednesday 16th The contractor came to coat the pool service with fibreglass.

Wednesday 16th August - fibreglass coating

Stage 2 - April 2023 - Emptying and Clearing the Pool 

Clearance of the Pool - 23 April 2023 - report and photos by Ted Forsyth & John Zareba

Action began shortly after 10.10am in continuous light rain. Mud was scraped into buckets and disposed of in the woodland (see top photo). Mark and Louise arrived half an hour later with another relative, by which time most of the mud had gone. Activity then changed to loosening stones around the edge of the area in preparation for for laying a flexible liner at a later date. Another family of Louise's relatives arrived and while dad got involved in removing edge stones young Louie decided to tackle the large stone in the middle by using a spade, which he could hardly lift, as a lever!  As vandals had squashed the copper tube, which normally trickles water into the basin at the top of the cairn, two or three people took turns to expose the copper tube for later repair. More work will be done another time.
Stage 1 - February 2023 - Cutting Back Surrounding Trees

10 February 2023
In discussion with the Council it had been agreed that it would be necessary to cut back the Limes surrounding the pool to ensure that more light got through to the new pool. Thus on 10th February 2023 Council contractors cut back many of the overhanging branches and felled 2 of the Lime trees. The cut timber was left in piles for later collection. This left the Glade looking much more open - see the photos below & right.