Friends of Myton Pool was formed in 2007 over growing concern as to the condition of the Victorian Pool and surrounds that border Bennett Drive. Our initial goal was to desilt Myton Pool as it was almost completely filled in with only a stream running through. We discovered that it was necessary to form an official organisation to gain recognition and so Friends of Myton Pool Trust Limited was formed. As a charity we were now able to apply for grants to carry out projects on site.
Beginning on a small scale in 2008 FROMP, with an initial £10,000 grant from the National Lottery, began improving the land at Myton Pool by replacing the viewing platform over the River Avon and installing three new benches for people to rest and enjoy the area. The old platform had fallen into decay and had been set on fire. The new platform secured the structure and allows lovely views over the Avon.
With great help from the local community we arranged many working parties which opened up the overgrown paths and created new routes to enable easier access for anyone to enjoy the community space. This involved planting new hedges on the edge of the site by the Council Playing Fields as our first working party. Since then we have felled numerous trees in the woodland areas which had been over planted. This has allowed light to penetrate the canopy increasing the diversity of plants growing on the ground, as well as providing novel habitats for numerous species. Felled trees were left to rot naturally and, more recently, coppiced hazel under-stories have been planted which are developing rapidly. Bird and bat boxes have been erected around the site (we always have soprano pipistrelles on site).
All this effort consolidated our reputation with funding agencies which enabled us to bid for £140,000 to desilt Myton Pool. In 2010 we were successful in raising this sum from the Big Lottery Funds Community Spaces programme (run by Groundworks UK), Biffaward and King Henry VIII Endowed Trust. This allowed us to remove 100’s of tonnes of silt from the pool. We were able to lower the level of the water to its original level revealing beautiful stone work surrounding the pool. We rebuilt the original weir and the water now flows over it and makes the sounds it was designed to. The three stone bridges that cross the stream were rebuilt and made secure for the future - this involved finding collapsed stonework and reassembling it. New brickwork was added to the pool viewing area to prevent flooding that had occurred in the past.
We next fenced in the field adjacent to the pool and stripped off the vegetation. This enabled us to establish a wild flower meadow to increase species diversity on the site. Along the fence, with wonderful and generous support from the Warwickshire Tree Wardens, we planted a new hedge around the meadow and that has now been laid in traditional Warwickshire style. To increase access to the site we installed a RADAR gate and a wide hardcore path through the meadow to the pool and on down the stream to the river viewing platform. In 2018 we have rebuilt this path to a higher specification.
Having achieved all the original goals the efforts of FROMP in recent years have focused on community involvement, while maintaining the site through regular working parties. This has involved numerous events since FROMP’s formation. These include family focussed events such as bat and moth events, Easter Egg Hunts, Christmas Solstice gatherings (with brass band, carol singing and Santa Claus), a scarecrow event, children events run by Warwickshire Wildlife and several street parties to celebrate Royal events.
Please see our home page for upcoming events and please come an join us at a working party - we are very pleased to meet old friends and new.