Watford Parade's £4.3million revamp reached another milestone as elected mayor Dorothy Thornhill laid the finishing touches to the refurbished pond.

The pond is due to be refilled in the coming days and then efforts will be made to encourage the ducks to re-settle in the water feature.

The new pond features a bridge, lighting and granite steps and water filtration systems to cleanse the water, which used to be an algae green.

Three new fountains have been installed to further aerate the water.

Finishing touches to the pond were applied by the mayor and pupils of Watford Central Primary School on yesterday.

Mayor Thornhill unveiled a commemorative plaque and, with the help of a pupil, laid a symbolic slab by the pond’s edge. Pupils later released balloons around the pond.  

Mayor Thornhill said: "I’m delighted with the new look and feel of the pond, and the top of the town centre. The pond has changed many times during it’s history and was due an update. The children here today were very excited about our new events programme, especially the film screenings and ice skating.

"This is important because the improvements have been done to encourage more families into this part of the town centre during the day and early evening, providing a boost to nearby businesses."

The final works are being carried out on The Parade ahead of TV retail guru, Mary Portas, official opening it on Friday. The opening ceremony will usher in a year of cultural performance and events under the banner of Watford’s Big Event.

Jessica Hooper, deputy head of Watford Central Primary School accompanying the pupils, said: "It was wonderful to hear Mayor Thornhill talking to the pupils about how important it is for them to be an ambassador for their school, just as is it is important for her to  be an ambassador for the town. We are so pleased to assist the pond’s renovation and be a part of its proud history."

Construction of the pond has involved 2,000 tonnes of sand and gravel and 9,000 squared metres of granite paving. Two thousand metres of wiring has been installed to serve the pond and it’s lighting.

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The water will be kept in place by a self-healing pond liner. The liner consists of two layers of canvas separated with a layer of clay, which acts as an adhesive in the event of damage to the canvases.

There will be new plants added to the pond and 49 trees have been planted in The Parade, to provide shade and fresh air.

The pond’s new bridge has illuminated hand rails and a wooden decked surface. Either end of the pond is a stepped seating area leading to the water’s edge, encouraging better access to the water.