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~ About Frensham Great Pond ~
Frensham Great Pond is part of Frensham common (Surrey) which is located mid-way between Farnham and Hindhead on either side of the A287. Frensham common comprises of a large area of heathland and two large ponds known as Frensham Great and Frensham Little Ponds. Please note that I am reviewing Frensham Great pond. The great pond is popular with people enjoying swimming, sunbathing, fishing and sailing. The common is a quiet wildlife retreat and is reserved as a haven for the wildlife that lives there. Frensham Great pond has a sandy area which resembles a seaside resort. This area is quite large and children can dig and build sandcastles in this area. There are swimming areas which are marked off by buoys and following a recent test by the Environment Agency, they declared the water quality excellent. Water quality may change especially after heavy rainfall which can increase contamination with faecal bacteria from upstream areas. You can get to Frensham Pond by car and you can also catch the train to Frensham station. The back of the station actually backs onto the pond itself where you can join the path.
~ Frensham Great Pond ~
We drove to Frensham Pond from Farnborough which took approximately 15-20mins. There are spaces to park your car; how-ever the track which leads to the car park is very bumpy and un-even. There is only space for single cars so you may need to pull into the side in order to let other cars past. This is of course also dusty, so don't expect your car to be clean after parking here. The parking area is quite large with a few spaces shaded by the sun. Me and my boyfriend took something to eat and drink with us in the hope that we could find a nice spot to sit and enjoy the views. Before you set off on the trail to get to the Pond, there is a board which tells you the trail to and around the pond. We had only been walking for a short while we can to the picnic area, where there were tables which enabled you to sit and eat or rest a little. Although this area is high you can't really see much of the pond as it's very over-grown with trees and bushes. We continued to walk following a clear track. Along the way we saw cyclists and other walkers. The first area we came to had a wooden bit built in which you could stand on and view the whole pond. This was a little unstable and was again over-grown; how-ever it gave a lovely view of the pond. Another 5 minutes later we came to another wooded stand on the water. This area was more open and it was lovely to see the view of the pond and all the ducks and swans. This was quite picturesque when looking out onto the pond. As we made our way further around the pond, there are various different boards telling you about different wild-life which you may spot. This included butterflies and other insects and also animals such as birds and squirrels. These were quite interesting to read and me and my boyfriend were on the lookout for these different things. There are various small bridges in which you walk over which has a small running stream, the water is very clear and these areas are beautiful. We decided to continue to walk round the whole pond. There were other areas in which you could sit, how-ever these were rather over-grown and if we had sat in these areas we wouldn't have been able to see anything apart from the tall reeds which actually blocked the view of the great pond.
We did come to the bit where the sand is and this area was quite nice. The water was calm and very clear and there was sand in which you could put a towel or blanket down to sit on it and take in the view. I did dip a toe in the water a little, but only because it looked very clear. There were 2 children playing in the water, how-ever I don't think I would have done any more than dip a toe in due to the cans which were floating in the water and other rubbish. There wasn't a lot of rubbish in this area, how-ever there must have been a few careless people who just decided to leave their rubbish there rather than take it with them to dispose of. There are a few bins as you walk around the pond, how-ever these are limited and you may need to walk quite a while before you actually get to one. When we visited the pond the sandy area was very hot, due to the sun being on it, so there is no doubt that you would get sunburnt whilst bathing here. There is a little shade from some of the trees but not much. To walk around Frensham Pond it took us just over an hour, which we were surprised by as we thought it would take us a lot longer. We saw woodland more than anything else due to the pond being so overgrown with trees and bushes. We did spot a few squirrels and dragonflies. Unfortunately we didn't find a nice enough spot to sit down and enjoy the views due to a rather noisy family being on the sandy area where they had decided to take a portable stereo with them and a few beers. This was a shame as we would have quite enjoyed this area looking out onto the pond and sitting in the cool shade.
~ Overall Opinion ~
When we walked around the pond we did see some information about them doing work on the pond to improve it. This definitely needs doing as there are only 3-4 places where you can stand to really look at the pond, which is a shame. Unless I knew that they had cut a lot of the bushes and reeds down, I don't think I would visit here again. Me and my boyfriend did enjoy the walk around the pond as it was cool walking underneath the large trees. There is a lack of places to actually sit down when walking around the pond and as I mentioned before there is also a lack of bins as well. Due the track/path not being flat it's not really suitable for push-chairs or wheelchair users. I rate this place 3 out of 5 stars.
(review also on ciao)