A fishy tale for Lanes

Today Durham Constabulary boasts a clean and healthy fishpond at its headquarters — thanks to Lanes for Drains, the local fish expert and a full pond ‘makeover’.

But the pond, which has been a focal point for the local community since it was built in the early seventies, was not always something to be proud of. In fact it was something of an embarrassment, according to Durham Police’s Estates and Energy Manager, Joanne Hughes:

“Although the pond has always been a popular feature, it had been badly neglected and was full of silt, rubbish and overgrown pond plants. In fact, some fish had even become trapped in the weeds and died, so we knew we had to do something.”

Fortunately, Joanne knew just who to call — Lanes for Drains. Lanes, the UK’s largest independent drainage specialist, has carried out a variety of projects for Durham Constabulary and was more than happy to help out with their fishy problem.

Manager Eddie Roughley explains:

“As you would expect, we are experts in all things to do with water and drains but handling koi carp is something we felt was best left to the aquatic specialists, so we called in Chris Janes from Beaumont Nursery.

“Chris came along to advise us and remove all the fish the weekend before we started work. There were over 50 fish including koi carp, silver carp, common carp, roach, orfe and various goldfish — some of which weighed more than 15lbs!”

Chris explains: “It was snowing when we removed the fish, so that made extraction and transportation to the nursery’s indoor quarantine tanks quite a challenge. We treated the fish to remove bacteria and put them in a holding tank where the water was slowly warmed up to 15ºC.”

Once the fish were in Chris’ capable hands, the pond was drained of water using one of Lanes’ super jet vac tankers. At that point it became clear just how much rubbish and silt there was: Eddie and his team had to bring in a mini excavator and several skips to remove over 60 tonnes of debris and dirt.

Lanes jet cleaned the base of the pond to provide a pristine and immaculate surface ready to be refilled and repopulated. Chris made sure that the water and conditions were correct for the returning fish, which he put back in the pond in stages, along with some new pond mates, to allow both water and fish to acclimatise.

Both the police and the public took an interest in the events at the fishpond. Even the chief constable got involved says Joanne: “His office overlooks the pond directly so he was especially interested in the restoration project.”

Now the Durham Constabulary have a fishpond to be proud of once again, and local families visit regularly to see the fish. But there’s no danger of another fish ‘life of grime’ situation developing: Beaumont nursery is in charge of regular maintenance to keep the fish, and their home, clean and healthy.

Joanne is pleased. “The guys from Lanes were great on site,” she says. “People would stop them and ask about what they were doing. It became a real community project, and everyone is delighted with the results. Lanes did a fantastic job!”

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