Volunteers from University Centre Sparsholt used their expert knowledge of ecology to transform the community pond at Emmaus Hampshire’s Winchester base. Emmaus is a vibrant and thriving social enterprise that supports individuals who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion. They provide a home and meaningful work experience to homeless individuals to help secure their entry back into independent living.

The Sparsholt team were very excited to assist such a great local charity with the project of clearing the community pond of overgrown vegetation. FdSc Sports Fisheries and Aquaculture Degree student, Ben Leigh,  Aquatic and Research Conservation Centre technician, Steve Jensen and Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecology Lecturer, Dr Adrian Love had quite a job on their hands to complete the clearing on a cold early spring morning. The team however were delighted with the final results and can’t wait for Emmaus residents to using the area again.

Adrian commented: “The Sparsholt team were delighted to assist Emmaus Hampshire with this project to improve this facility for Emmaus residents to enjoy. University Centre Sparsholt is recognised worldwide for its expertise in providing education in fishery, aquaculture and marine studies so it’s great to use the team’s skills and involve our students in local projects such as this one. We’re looking forward to seeing the project develop over the summer months and seeing the ecosystem flourish!”

Jake Paine, Support and Facilities Manager at Emmaus Hampshire, said: “We want to say a huge thank you to the team from University Centre Sparsholt for using their expert knowledge to bring new life to our community pond. This has hugely improved the area for the Companions we support and we have already seen a resurgence in the number of newts making the pond their home. We look forward to working with them to maintain the pond throughout the year.”

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