Memories of Beam Brook Aquatic Farm in Newdigate, Surrey
During my childhood, I used to frequently visit a very special place called Beam Brook Aquatic Fish Farm. Also known by locals as The Field Station, this wonderful place was just two miles down the road from my parents house and where my retail Nursery, Lilies Water Gardens stands today. I remember it being a pleasant cycle ride for me on warm sunny spring and summer days down to the farm on roads that had 75 percent or more less traffic than they have nowadays. At the farm I also remember that there were numerous natural and man made lined ponds that housed hundreds of unusual pond plants along with enclosures and tanks that had various Reptiles, Amphibians, Invertebrates and Fish, so not surprising, that this was the place for me to definitely visit every March to collect some Frogspawn for my own lined ponds. Please see my article “my first wildlife Ponds”.
The Field Station was originally called ‘L.Haig and Co LTD,’ and first opened in the early twentieth century. I have included some interesting images below of some very early catalogs. Unfortunately, various species of non native pond wildlife did escape into the wild, and now there are localised colonies of Alpine Newts and Edible Frogs that have established themselves in various ponds in the countryside surrounding Newdigate. Please see my article on “Alpine Newts.”
I am very fortunate and lucky enough to own my own unique and popular retail Nursery called “Lilies Water Gardens”and although I don’t sell Fish, Amphibians or Reptiles my Nursery is certainly a haven for many forms of wildlife. Many of my customers also remember and have fond memories of The Field Station too and now enjoy visiting my nursery. It was in fact one of my customers that dropped in the catalogues shown below as he thought, they may be of some interest to me which they certainly are, and therefore, I would very much like to share them with you.
Just a small piece of Aquatic Nursery history