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New pond will be a fitting tribute to wildlife lover John

John Almond
John Almond

A pond in memory of a local teacher and naturalist will shortly become a reality on Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Hauxley Nature Reserve, thanks to two cash donations and a grant from Northumberland County Council.

John Almond, a former teacher at Amble County Secondary School and latterly, Amble Middle School, as well as a columnist for the Northumberland Gazette, had a long association with the reserve on Druridge Bay.

His Duke of Edinburgh group in Amble provided the muscle to move barrow loads of soil to create banks around the lake and he also took school groups to the reserve.

Following his death on his 70th birthday on December 12 last year, John’s friends from the Alnwick and District Natural History Society and the Environmental Walking Partnership donated £1,000 towards the creation of a new wildlife-friendly pond in his memory at the Trust’s award-winning Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre.

Still with a shortfall, the wildlife charity applied for grant funding from the county council’s Community Chest Scheme and has received the news that it has been awarded the £1,000 required to create the lasting memorial to such a local nature lover.

With work scheduled to start this week, the ground for the pond will be dug by Pegswood-based contractor WL Straughan and Son Ltd, followed immediately by members of the Hauxley Volunteer Group who will plant flag iris, water forget-me-nots and pondweeds to attract all sorts of creatures.

Once established, the pond will be a great place for wildlife spotting by people of all ages and will be an excellent over-wintering site for frogs and toads.

Sheila Sharp, of the Trust, said: “This will be a lasting legacy to a man who appreciated the local green spaces.”