Dozens of carp have been reintroduced to Mount Pond on Clapham Common after more than eight months away.
The fish were carefully removed in March to allow work to start on a major £76,000 scheme to improve the habitat of Mount Pond and encourage wildlife.
While they have been away the pond has been dredged to improve water quality and new reed beds introduced to encourage amphibians and insects, in a joint project funded by Lambeth Council and the Environment Agency.
Experts moved them back on Monday from their temporary home 500 metres away in Long Pond.
Work is currently taking place to introduce extra fishing platforms, landscape the pond’s banks and improve the central island by thinning trees, and with majority of the improvements complete and the water quality improved, the fish can now be re- introduced.
The project was developed after dozens of carp died in the summer of 2008 due to poor water quality. The project is aiming to improve and maintain the fish population at a level that allows for both good fishing and healthy, happy fish.
The pond is one of the very few free fisheries available to anglers in South London, and part of the work is funded directly by angling rod licences Cllr Florence Nosegbe, Lambeth Council Cabinet member for Culture, said:
“It’s great to see the fish being returned to Mount Pond after this important project, which is making sure the pond will remain a haven for lots of interesting wildlife including fish, amphibians, birds and insects, as well as somewhere human visitors can enjoy to the full.”
Emma Barton, an Environment Agency fisheries officer, said: “The re-introduction of the carp to their original home is a satisfying end to this project. Having them back in Mount Pond is great news for both novice and experienced anglers, as well as the community as a whole.”
The Mount Pond scheme was funded with £30,000 from Lambeth Council, £26,000 from the Environment Agency through rod licences, and £20,000 from a planning agreement from the Clapham Common South Tesco development.