...create a pond?

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lindsay
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...create a pond?

Post: # 215697Post lindsay »

Hello

I've posted elsewhere on this forum that hubby and I have recently bought a four acre field. On the OS map a pond is indicated. On the field itself, more or less where the pond should be, there is a big, leaf-filled, branch-strewn hollow. We assume this used to be the pond.

Do we just dig out the hollow and expect it to fill up from the bottom, from a spring or something? It does not seem any wetter than the surrounding area. If we cleared it out and deepened it, how would it get filled if there is no spring? Do we physically have to put water in it? (This sounds stupid now that I type it, because I'm guessing the answer must be yes, really! If there is no spring, the water won't make itself, will it?) Finally, how do you prevent the water from just being soaked up and disappearing? Natural ponds obviously aren't lined, but does an artificial one need to be?

Finally, because it seems that a pond used to exist here, would we need permission to reinstate it?

I hope somebody can give me the benefit of their experience, or even just their idle thoughts on the subject! Thanks for reading.

Lindsay

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Harasimow
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Re: ...create a pond?

Post: # 215700Post Harasimow »

You make the bottom and sides of the pond water tight and then wait for it to rain. You could either use plastic pond liner or research puddled clay. Adding a few Buckets of water from an existing pond will kick start the wildlife but check there are no non native nasties first.

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Re: ...create a pond?

Post: # 215702Post MKG »

Rather depends. If it's an artificial pond (in that it wouldn't normally exist in that place) then you're into the realms of liners and getting water from somewhere else. However, yours doesn't sound like that - it sounds as if it's either a natural pond or else someone has, in the past, carefully landscaped the area to make a "natural" pond. Basically, that means that it's either a) near a spring or b) below the water table. If it's a spring, it may have been capped (intentionally or accidentally) in which case you may have to get your spade out and go looking for it. If it relies on the water table and it's now dry, that may be because it has, over the years, sealed itself off (by depositing mud, usually) - or it may be that the natural water table level has fallen, leaving the pond high and dry.

Have a close look at the largest-scale map you can find to see if you can spot any springs in the immediate area (or even a small stream which may have been diverted). While you're at it, try digging down from the lowest part of the pond. You may have to go down quite a few feet, but if your hole starts to fill with water, then you're in business. If the local water table has fallen, though, reinstating your pond may be a non-starter.

Best of luck!!

Oh - to the best of my knowledge, you won't need permission if the pond was a natural one - but you may have to put up warning sign for the Safety Elf.

Mike

EDIT - just noticed you're in Lincoln. As long as your land isn't up on the top of the ridge, then water isn't going to be too far below your feet.
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Re: ...create a pond?

Post: # 215713Post Green Aura »

It might also be worth having a look at the Environment Agency or something like that to see if there are any projects in the area to reinstate natural ponds. They might be able to advise, offer assistance or give small grants.

I remember there being a big scheme to reinstate ponds throughout the Cheshire Plains.
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Re: ...create a pond?

Post: # 215716Post Big Al »

Don't know for sure if this is right but if there was a pond there and the local waterboard has taken a lot of water from the aquefer below the pond then the water table may have just gone further down. If that's the case then you will only be filling up the earth underneath so you will have to then, line the pond or better still puddle it in. If you have cows near by then ask the farmer if they can be put in your hollow and let them puddle it in.

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lindsay
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Re: ...create a pond?

Post: # 215745Post lindsay »

Thanks for all that information. I will certainly dig down (when the snow has gone) and also follow up the possibility of assistance from the Environment Agency, and will bear in mind all the other advice too. Very useful info from everybody, as usual. I'll keep you posted... Thanks!

Lindsay

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Re: ...create a pond?

Post: # 215748Post frozenthunderbolt »

one book i read had info about making a glay (sp? ) pond where you pile up leafy vegetation in a hollow and let it rot anaerobically under black plastic (or similar) the resulting sludge makes a rather effective waterproofing layer unless punctured (think a more delicate pool liner). I think i have the spelling wrong though as i can't turn up a thing on google. Sounds like the way i have written it though possibly like "gang aft a glae" - (often go wrong)
If you can figure out what i mean you are doing well, If you can track down the info you are a genius! Think it may have been a bill mollinson permaculture book
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oldjerry
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Re: ...create a pond?

Post: # 215750Post oldjerry »

Green Aura wrote:It might also be worth having a look at the Environment Agency or something like that to see if there are any projects in the area to reinstate natural ponds. They might be able to advise, offer assistance or give small grants.

I remember there being a big scheme to reinstate ponds throughout the Cheshire Plains.
Lindsay, sorry to bang on ,but this seems a good idea,and all the more reason to register your field as a holding,sooner rather than later,check out the DEFRA site ,but dont give them your details 'till you decide to go with it. Best Wishes.

lindsay
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Re: ...create a pond?

Post: # 215752Post lindsay »

Jeremy: I googled GLEI and got this, which sounds a bit like what you are talking about. Will definitely try this rather than a plastic liner, if the need arises...

"Yes it is called gley and I believe is a Russian development. It is
reputed to be suitable for sealing a pond in a gravel bed. What one aims
for is a layer of anaerobic organic breakdown in a layer under the soil.
Various materials are possible to use but basically proceed as follows.
Dig out your pond 10 cm deeper than the depth you desire. Put down a
thick layer of some high cellulose material. Take your pick. Add a layer
of manure which completely covers the cellulose. Dampen it and try to
flatten it down as much as it will compact. Cover with the extra soil
that you excavated. The bottom will be higher than you want but this
will go down as the organic material compacts. Sprinkle the soil enough
to penetrate down to the organic layer and from time to time try to
compact the layer. Keep it damp for a couple of weeks. Fill the pond
with water. It should be nearly sealed and seal even more over the next
couple of weeks."

Thanks. Lindsay

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Re: ...create a pond?

Post: # 215771Post frozenthunderbolt »

There we go - well done!
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Gem
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Re: ...create a pond?

Post: # 215819Post Gem »

What soil type do you have? if there is clay soil around then all you need to do is hire a digger and (ideally) use the stuff you dig out to compact the sides and the bottom to naturally line the pond. Natural ponds are frequently fed by ground water but do have a look at any small streams (or ditches that might have been streams in the past). The water may be diverted somewhere on your 4 acres so it would be relatively easy to re-instate. I would strongly back Green Aura's suggestion to contact the EA as they should have a biodiversity dept near your area who will be able to advise on all this gump, there has been a bit of funding put in to encourage this sort of habitat because of the local benefits to birds, bugs and of course ambhibians. If you don't have any luck with them then let me know, I can dig out some leaflets to send you.

Good luck

Gem

lindsay
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Re: ...create a pond?

Post: # 215822Post lindsay »

Thanks Gem. I know somebody who used to work at the EA so I thought I might ask her advice first. I think we do have some clay-ey bits on the field, near the bottom of the slope, so we could consider doing as you suggest.

Oldjerry: As our field used to be a piggery, I'm wondering if it already has a CPH number. It has not had pigs on it for many years, so maybe it will have expired. I am going to ring the dept tomorrow and see it there is a number.

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