IT COULD take years to improve the condition of a notoriously overgrown Southampton park.

Fears continue to mount that Shirley Pond poses a danger to both residents and wildlife.

But the city council has said it may take a couple of years for a project to specifically focus on the area.

Cllr Rob Harwood told the Echo: "We are working with the Environment Agency on plans to improve the condition of Shirley Pond as part of the Southampton Ponds Project.

Daily Echo: Cllr Harwood Cllr Harwood

"The focus of the project is currently Miller’s Pond in Sholing, but once that pond is complete the focus will move to Shirley Pond. This is not a rapid process and it may take a couple of years for the project to focus specifically on Shirley Pond."

He said the council will look at options including: dredging the pond to create sufficient depth of water for a sustainable fish population; creating areas for wildlife; repairing or replacing the fishing platforms; and upgrading the footpath.

"We welcome interest from local residents who would like to do some conservation work around the pond or start a friends group," added Cllr Harwood.

Daily Echo: The current state of Shirley Pond The current state of Shirley Pond

The substance currently covering the pond has been inspected, he said.

The council found it was common duckweed which can cover freshwater bodies of water, and is not considered detrimental to the wildlife known in the area.

A local resident, who asked not to be named, said to the Echo: "The one bench has been vandalised and there is no where to sit, for disabled people like myself, surely this is not allowed, there should be facilities for us to rest.

"The path round the pond is dangerous, where at least a third of it dips away to the stream and is very unsafe, especially now the mornings and evenings are getting darker."

In May, it was reported that several birds had been found dead at Shirley Pond.

Officers in the area had been notified of the issues with up to 40 birds found dead on one occasion.

Daily Echo: Shirley Pond.

Cllr Satvir Kaur said: "As ward councillors, we are fully aware of the issues in Shirley Pond and have been working hard to get improvements to the park.

"We would like to see the council move faster on the these issues. In the meantime, we will continue to push for greater investment for this much loved and well used community space."

Anyone interested in volunteering to do conservation work should email