Station's new surroundings

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Hitchens Lane

A group of girl guides have helped brighten up a newly developed sewage pumping station (SPS) in Fleet.

Twelve girls from Fleet Girl Guides visited the Hitches Lane SPS in March to brighten the area up as part of their ‘Grow Wild’ project.

The girls were taking part in the environmental project as part of their Guiding activities, and during the day, staff from the pumping team met with the girls as they planted a variety of wild seeds that encourage the habitation of insects and invertebrates.

Fleet has suffered from several flooding issues in the past, and Hitches Lane is a large pumping station which has the capacity to store large amounts of water during heavy rainfall, therefore helping reduce the risk of flooding in the area, replacing the old Grove Farm SPS.

Sarah Smith, a local resident who helps volunteer at the Girl Guides, said: “Guiding in Fleet is enthusiastically supported by more than 400 girls. As part of the programme community involvement is embraced wherever we can help.

“‘Grow Wild’ was started in 2014 by Royal Botanic Gardens Kew to help enhance the profile of British wild flowers as 97 per cent of wild flower meadows and spaces have been lost since the 1930’s. Fleet Guides, Brownies and Rainbows have been involved since ‘Grow Wild’s’ inception in planting small areas of wild flowers.

“This year 8th Fleet Guides spotted a superb opportunity. Thames Water has built a new pumping station opposite their meeting place and as part of the landscaping we thought it would be an ideal opportunity to plant a large area.”

Adrian Hurford, south pumping field operations manager at Thames Water, said: “This was a great opportunity to build rapport with the local residents and also contribute to the environment around this pumping station, which is located in a prominent part of this existing and new development."