One Million Ponds

With his finger as usual on the throbbing pulse of current affairs, Frank responds to some breaking pond news…

I suspect all Dabblers are as overexcited as I am by the one million ponds project. This initiative by the charity Pond Conversation aims to double the number of freshwater British ponds until the entire land is pond-riddled. I imagine a future map of our sceptr’d isle resembling a fine piece of lacework, perhaps with more patches of blue pond than of green (or brown) land.

There are some intriguing passages in Roger Harrabin’s BBC report, not least the conjunction of a pond full of leeches “writhing like a snake pit”, the hand of project director Dr Jeremy Biggs flowing with leech-drawn blood mixing “with the milky waters of the pond”, and “an incongruous moment as the sounds of children’s voices drift through the dappling oaks”. No doubt what are referred to merely as “voices” were in fact bloodcurdling screams.

It makes me wonder if the pond in question was Stagnant Inky-Black Fathomless Spooky Pond, a stagnant and inky-black and fathomless and spooky pond I wrote about some years ago. This in turn prompts me to wonder if any thought has been given to the important matter of naming all these one million ponds. This is not a task that should be undertaken lightly, nor left to chance. Dabblers, I feel, would be ideal candidates to form some kind of National Pond-Naming Board. You lot should put your names forward.

To get you started, I recall that in another piece, written in the last century, I provided names for seven ponds, those being Brink, Cramped, Dribble, Lamont, Presumption, Ravenous and Unholy. Seven down, nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-three to go!

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About Author Profile: Frank Key

Frank Key is a London-based writer, blogger and broadcaster best known for his Hooting Yard blog, short-story collections and his long-running radio series Hooting Yard on the Air, which has been broadcast weekly on Resonance FM since April 2004. By Aerostat to Hooting Yard - A Frank Key Reader, an ideal introduction to his fiction, is published for Kindle by Dabbler Editions. Mr Key's Shorter Potted Brief, Brief Lives was published in October 2015 by Constable and is available to buy online and in all good bookshops.

7 thoughts on “One Million Ponds

  1. Gaw
    September 21, 2012 at 08:01

    This is surely a sinister plot to sink Britain.

    It does though provide an opportunity for a new retail concept, the discount pond store. Pondland, The Pond Shop, etc.

    September 21, 2012 at 09:29

    Here in Scotland we have a similar groundswell, the curling pond appreciation society. The name is misleading, the lumps of water are flat and rectangular and expected to freeze, people who have nothing better to do stand on the ice and chuck stuff, then go home. Later, when the ice has melted, caused by global warming, the ducks arrive and dabble, just like us chickens.

  3. Worm
    September 21, 2012 at 09:33

    I would name a particularly depressing pond ‘Des’

      September 21, 2012 at 10:23

      or a particularly dashing one ‘James’

    Hey Skipper
    September 21, 2012 at 09:47

    Sounds like someone wants to turn the Scepter’d Isle into a mosquito ranch.

    September 21, 2012 at 18:20


      September 21, 2012 at 18:23

      Carshalton, a watery Pollux and Castor, fruit of the womb of Keston, the swan ponds.

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