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We're Making a Wildlife Pond

Discussion in 'Water Gardening' started by Redwing, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. Redwing

    Redwing Wild Gardener

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    We are going to make a medium sized, maybe large to some, wildlife pond in what once was a farm slurry pit. My aim is to attract more birds specifically to what is already a good area and good habitat. We tried to make a clay pond two or three years ago but there were too many rabbit holes and probably tree roots too and it didn't hold much water so we have decided to put in a liner. Here are the first pictures. The first picture shows the slurry pit as it was with the diggers early shaping. The pond will be approximately 8m x 14 at it's largest with a shelf and sloping forwards with a marginal area in front.IMG_6168resize.JPG
    A little further advanced.
    IMG_6182resize.JPG And this is how it looked yesterday. The bit at the front is to be the marginal boggy area.
    IMG_6207resize.JPG
     
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    • Irmemac

      Irmemac Total Gardener

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      It's going to be amazing! It's a great size to attract wildlife. Can't wait to see your future photos! Hope you will have a bench in the vicinity, from where you will be able to spot different birds.
       
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      • Zigs

        Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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        Blimey :phew::phew::phew:

        Nice one Redwing :):):)
         
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        • Redwing

          Redwing Wild Gardener

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          There will definitely be a bench.....wish there was one now so I could sit down more!
           
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          • ricky101

            ricky101 Gardener

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            Its amazing what you can do with a camera and some dinky toys !!:snorky::snorky::snorky::snorky:
             
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            • ARMANDII

              ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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              I think you've put a lot of thought where you're having it dug, Redwing. The hedge will be a route for wildlife to get to the pond, and there will be some shade as well. I think we'll all be interested to see how the project develops.:thumbsup:
               
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              • luciusmaximus

                luciusmaximus Total Gardener

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                :wow:. It will be amazing once completed. How lucky are you to have the space to do this.:)
                 
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                • zilly

                  zilly Gardener

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                  I love it already.
                   
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                  • Clare G

                    Clare G Gardener

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                    It's going to be great!:spinning:
                     
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                    • Redwing

                      Redwing Wild Gardener

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                      Thanks folks; have to admit it has been pretty exciting. We've planned it for a few years. The liner is suppose to come tomorrow so hopefully it will be installed and then filled during the week.

                      The site was kind of already decided as it was the old slurry pit from years ago. It was way too deep and steep so we needed a digger to shape it. The hedge on the right of the picture is already great habitat and there is a ditch on the other side of it. The hedge and ditch is already a wildlife corridor and the pond will add to the habitat. We have a water capture system in place to take rain water.

                      I intend to put oxygenators in place in a week or two and plant and turf the sides. There is obviously a lot still to do but I think I'll wait until next spring before planting the water plants....don't want to loose them if we have a cold winter.
                       
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                      • KingEdward

                        KingEdward Gardener

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                        A bit hard to see from the photos, but it looks like the sides are fairly steeply sloping. Since pond liners are generally pretty slippery, this could make it difficult for plants to establish round the margins since any sediment just slides off. The other disadvantage is that it makes for a very narrow drawdown & shallow water zone (perhaps apart from the area at the front which I can't really see from the photos). It's this edge habitat that is critically important for most pond species. From the photo it looks as if you'll be down to pretty deep water within a foot or two of the edge.

                        Seeing as it's already August, you might also consider not filling the pond and letting it fill with rainwater over the autumn/winter. This does have the disadvantage of leaving the liner exposed and potentially vulnerable to damage, but equally keeps nutrient levels as low as possible which should improve the quality of the pond in the long term.
                         
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                        • Redwing

                          Redwing Wild Gardener

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                          @KingEdward : Comments appreciated. We have tried to keep the slopes to 20 degrees or less with the whole of the shallow end a lot less than that. Max depth is .75m. There is a shelf running around the far end and about half the side lengths. The shallow end at the front of the picture is really sloping gently and ends in a marginal area which will be about 4m wide x about 1.5 with a narrow dam area separating the two.

                          We will fill it up as we make it; it is impractical not to as you need to get the edges at the top dealt with and we want to do that soon so I can plant the edges with turf and plants. Ideally once the liner is in place it will rain and our rainwater re capture system will come into use and we won't need to use tap water.....but don't think that will happen.
                           
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                          • Jiffy

                            Jiffy The Match is on Fire

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                            Very nice, how are you going to trim the hedge with the tractor? floation tryes on the case-ih 884
                             
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                            • ARMANDII

                              ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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                              That's exactly the right thing to do, Redwing:thumbsup:. You'll no doubt get a lot of advice and encouragement from the GC Gang but you will, no doubt, have done a lot of research and planning into the pond but will also follow your head and your heart. I used several large plastic washing baskets as crates, lined them with Hessian, filled them with ordinary soil, and lowered them onto the shelves after covering the top with gravel, to stop any loose soil floating from the basket, so that there was around two inches of water covering them and it has worked well.


                              [​IMG]

                              I lined them with Hessian and filled them with ordinary soil and then placed them on the shelves. It's amazing how the black liner,under the water, "disappears" when you fill the pond with water, as do the crates of plants. Some people have trouble hiding the edge of the liner but I merely covered it with soil and very quickly grass, wild plants grew in it and the edge merged with the water and you wouldn't think there is a liner there. You're going to get a lot of excitement, pleasure and joy as you watch the pond mature, the marginal and surface plants grow, and the wildlife visiting and residing in it.:yes::snorky:
                               
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                                Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
                              • Redwing

                                Redwing Wild Gardener

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