Reservoir Refurb Means New Home For A Thousand Fish At Osborne

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The reservoir at Osborne was built in the 1800s and is bow being refurbished

More than 1,200 fish have been moved from a reservoir in the grounds of Osborne in East Cowes, to allow maintenance to be carried out to their 160 year old home.

The reservoir was built by Prince Albert, after he bought the estate with Queen Victoria in the 1840s. It was installed to supply the system of fire fighting hydrants, garden irrigation and possibly the fountains at the former royal residence.

The reservoir at Osborne was built in the 1800s and is bow being refurbished

About 20 years ago, 600 Koi, carp and goldfish were added to help cut down some of the algae that had built up. Since then, their population has doubled.

A new pond has been built to house the fish until they can be put back in the reservoir

Specialist nature conservation and habitat management firm Five Rivers used a seine fishing net, dragged along the bottom, before carefully moving them to a specially created pond (complete with anti-heron netting). A team is continuing to sift through what remains of the water to find any fish that were missed.

The reservoir at Osborne was built in the 1800s and is bow being refurbished

Now, two feet of silt and gunge will be removed and work will begin to replace concrete, refurbishing the reservoir. It will mean the reservoir can function more effectively, without fear of silt blocking up the pipes.

The remaining goldfish found in the pond will be rehomed by bucket

In the meantime, what looks like a giant water mattress has been filled with water, in case a fire breaks out at the historic home.