Dunlop Semtex Pond in Brynmawr has taken a turn for the worst. Once a pond servicing the thirst of heavy industry this redundant natural resource was included in a comprehensive regeneration scheme that saw a mix of residential and retail properties, freshly branded as 'Lakeside'. The pond itself was sold to a local angling organisation and public monies were used to improve access primarily for fishing. Since this brave new world the pond has steadily developed an air of neglect. Waterside fences have been damaged and not replaced, access to ramps and fishing platforms are barred to all other users by padlocked gates (similar to Wentwood Reservoir) and its also accumulating that characteristic eclectic mix of urban detritus. Furthermore there's an issue with algal blooms. The surface is now over half covered by algae that seems somewhat unique to this site. I suspect this is directly related to the daily input of detergent from a nearby business exacerbated by the ill judged introduction of defecating domestic fowl. These birds are mainly sedentary choosing to spend most of their time preening in or adjacent to the main water inlet, where organic material is flushed into the pond.
I'm sure the reasons behind this neglect are complex so I wouldn't wish to be too critcal. My issue is with the regulatory bodies and funding organisations who appear to think that the future well being of these sites are best placed with fishing interests as if they are the only player in town. Welsh Water embraces angling like a lifelong friend often to the exclusion of other legitimate users. Wentwood Reservoir is like Fort Knox accessible only to fisherman with no hint of multifuctionality here! Angling is a predominately male dominated past time but with numbers particapating falling annually it surely is time for plan B, where the interests of the majority are preferred to the interests of the few.