TWO NEW islands are being considered as part of a £600,000 of restoration work on Petersfield Heath.

And moving the Sussex Road boardwalk further out into the 22 acre pond, to create a ‘bridge’ effect, is also under consideration.

The popular 69 acre beauty spot and its pond is owned by Petersfield Town Council. But the pond banks have become badly eroded in recent years and now need to stabilised.

Council spokesman Steve Field said: “The tender documents for the work should go out early in the new year, and it’s hoped the work can start next autumn.

“Summers on the Heath are are becoming busier, and this increased use is part of the reason the sandy banks have eroded.

“The quieter autumn months will be an ideal time to do the work, and depending on the cost, environmental advice and the availability of the firm chosen to do the work, the project may be phased to minimise disruption to the wildlife.”

It’s planned the wooden barrier that retains the bank along the play park side of the pond and part of its eastern side, will be replaced as it’s old and falling to bits.

Along the Sussex Road side, the sandy banks will be rebuilt and retained, and the boardwalk replaced.

Mr Field said: “It’s about 18 years old and needs replacing.

“It will be moved further out into the lake, so there is water on both sides.

“On the road side, a fish ‘nursery’, a sanctuary for young fish, will be created, and some of the aquatic flora that’s been lost over the years will be replaced.”

The prevailing wind across The Heath is from the south west, and it pushes small waves across the pond.

Over the years they have eroded the sandy banks that aren’t retained by the wooden barrier, and eaten into the banks, creating small ‘bays’.

Mr Field said: “To help prevent this wave erosian continuing, we are considering building two small islands to break up the waves.

“But that won’t be firmly decided until we have put the tender together, and have an idea of the cost of the stabilisation works.”

Money for the ambitious project will come from a mix of sources, some from council reserves, and the rest through developer contributions.

Mr Field added: “We have identified the money, and sourcing it hopefully shouldn’t delay the project.”