A New Wildlife Pond (Finished...at last)

  • In reply to Paul A:

    Thanks for your brilliant update. I can only repeat what Hazy said, when I think how messy pond-digging is, your garden looks immaculate. Well-done to Mrs A on your beautiful front & back garden & all the lovely flowers & herbs & vegetables. Well done to you with all the hard digging & you've found still time to take bird photos & have a beer.

    I'm sorry to hear about your wheelbarrow, I thought it was a bit heartless though, buying a new one straight away! Many years ago we took part in a Red Barrows display at work & our wheel-barrow was painted white with a red cross on it, as it was the ambulance! It is now over 30 years old & has had a couple of new wheels, but still going strong. The white paint has faded now but as we have another 2 old inherited wheelbarrows, we still have the occasional race up the garden to the hummed music of the "Dambusters" theme. Silly aren't we! LOL

    Best wishes

    Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France

  • In reply to Noisette:

    Thanks Hazel, your kind comments are very much appreciated as always. I had no option but to buy a new wheelbarrow, I was in full digging mode and the weather was due to change for the worse for a few days.!! The Red Barrows sounds like a great bit of fun although I can't picture Mrs A allowing me to charge up and down her lawn with a wheelbarrow.!! On the subject of the pond, a friend contacted me yesterday and told me that he would soon have two old carpets for me to line the pond with, so yet another piece slowly falls into place.!!

    Paul

    My bird photos HERE

  • In reply to Paul A:

    I think the others have said it all Paul - your thread is so entertaining - reads like a book as Hazy said, with all its little twists and turns and side plots!

    It must be taking so much time and effort and is going to be fabulous just like the rest of your garden (my congrats to MrsA too on keeping it so well).

    Of course - after all this effort you are going to need a grand opening ceremony with someone to cut the ribbon.....!  May I suggest your garden for a Community meet up!!  Lol.

    See my Flickr photos here

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/115745582@N04/

     

  • In reply to ChristineB:

    Thanks Christine, you are very kind. I don't mind the idea of a meet up but at the rate I'm going it could well be Christmas before the grand opening comes about.

    Paul

    My bird photos HERE

  • In reply to Paul A:

    That sounds a good time to have a party Paul.

    Best wishes

    Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France

  • In reply to Noisette:

    Hi pond pals, it’s been ages since I’ve updated this thread but that doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been any progress with the pond. The pond is actually coming along fine but it’s been so long since I added any photos here I think it’ll probably take another few updates just to bring it all up to date .!! We’ll start where we left off the last time with the basic hole being dug out and I’ll see how far along I can get in this update, believe it or not there aren’t too many distractions in this one.!! The first photo shows the pond basically as it was but with the addition of an extra layer of turfs having been removed around the edge to make room for the liner when it arrives.

    You may have noticed that there is a small section at the far end of the pond which has been dug out slightly lower than the rest of the upper edge, this is going to be the overflow and the height of this will determine the maximum depth of the water in the pond. The next photo shows a closer view of this area.

    I was going to show you the materials I’ve got to continue with the build but first I’ll show you what happened to our old bird bath after Mrs A accidentally dropped it whilst cleaning it. As you can see, they don’t like to be dropped.

    After receiving several withering looks from the birds, it was decided to go out and get a new bird bath, which you can see in this next shot.

    Whilst I'm at this area I'll now show you some of the stuff that I've got for the build. These wooden pallets are intended for use when I get round to building the hibernaculum, but that will have to wait for a wee while yet.

    I've been stocking up with bags of sand, gravel, pebbles and the likes, it's surprising how much stuff is actually needed to build a pond.!!

    I've also been collecting old bits of carpet.!!

    Looking back up the garden you’ll notice that I’ve dug a series of steps to accommodate my intended sloping beach down into the pond. I mentioned in the first post of this thread that my plans could possibly change as I go along and the sloping beach may turn out to be one of these changes, I’ll probably tell you about this in a different update.

    Here's a closer view of the stepped shelves, the reason I had done this was in an attempt to prevent a sloping beach from sliding down into the pond when it's finished.

    I almost forgot to tell you that I had previously measured the pond and ordered the liner. I opted for the EPDM liner (which is a 1mm thick synthetic rubber) as Higgy had advised a while back, and I also ordered the liner insulation to help protect it. I'll not mention the company that I used but they were very efficient and the liner arrived on time, on the day that they had promised it would. I happened to be working on that day so I had arranged to have the liner delivered to my workplace in the somewhat naïve belief that I could throw it in the back of the car and take it home with me. When the man arrived with the delivery it was instantly apparent that it wasn’t going to be going anywhere near the back of my car.!! I’m quite lucky to work within a few miles of where I live so a bargain was struck with the delivery driver via the seductive and somewhat tantalising flashing of a crisp and shiny five pound note (actually it was a somewhat grubby and crumpled five pound note) but nonetheless still a perfectly legal and more importantly, a spendable five pound note.!! We chatted happily on the five minute journey to my house and the very nice man used his hydraulic pallet truck to deposit the liner and insulation in my driveway.!! I didn’t ask him how he intended to spend his new five pound note in case this would perhaps encourage him to try to modify the deal in an attempt to remove the equally crumpled and also somewhat grubby ten pound note that I also had in my pocket, but somehow forgot to mention it in the negotiation process.!! By the time I had remembered about this, the delivery man was far away, undoubtedly on his next delivery.!! One of my neighbours was out working in his garden and between us we somehow managed to manhandle the liner into my back garden, where this next photograph was taken.

    The liner arrived on a Friday which was perfect because the weather on the Saturday was to be dry and a  good friend of mine had offered to help me put the liner into the pond. In this next photo you’ll notice that there are some pieces of wood lying on the ground in front of the pond. I had spent a bit of time deciding one way or another as to whether I was going to use wood in the build, and eventually I decided that it would maybe be a wise thing to do, as you’ll see soon enough. An added benefit was that when I went to the timber merchant to get the wood, I also decided to stop go to the council re-cycling centre to drop some rubbish off. At the re-cycling centre I noticed that someone had recently dumped an old carpet so it was retrieved from the skip and taken home with me because it was touch and go whether or not I already had enough carpet to line the entire pond. You’ll notice in the photo that I’ve also removed more turfs around this end of the pond to accommodate the overlap of the liner.

    Because I intend to line the inner wall of the pond with largish stones, I decided to put a surrounding band of weather treated wood under the area where the stones were to be placed. The idea behind this is to help spread the weight of the stones and to prevent them from sinking too easily into the clay and possibly puncturing the pond liner. The next photo show the wood in place after putting a cushion of sand beneath it and having it cut to size to fit the circumference of the future inner wall.

    Some small pieces of carpet were then cut and placed over the joints as an added protection measure against puncturing.

    It has unfortunately all went wonky again, please bear with me as there is more to come

    Paul

    My bird photos HERE

  • In reply to Paul A:

    It's all looking so promising Paul, hope this weather doesn';t break for you.

    Lot to learn

  • In reply to Paul A:

    I'll try to push on and finish this update but it's really an uphill struggle as it's already taken me two hours to get this far. Getting back to the pond, a further layer of sand was then put down to further insulate everything.

    And so the task of carpet fitting began.!! The more insulation I can get the better due to the pond being so close to the trees and running the risk of roots penetrating the liner.

    One piece at a time, the carpet slowly creeps around the pond.!!

    Perhaps not everyone’s idea of the perfect colour scheme, but I like It.!!

    Please tell me that you like what I've done with the stairs, you should see the bathroom.!!

    It's a thing of beauty; next time you're watching 'Grand Designs', remember that you seen it here first.!! I've got a retro standard lamp and an occasional table in the post as we speak.!!

    The layer of carpet was then topped with yet another layer of sand.

    I think it going to wreak havoc with the vacuum cleaner.!!

    We then started to put the pond liner insulation into the hole. This comes in long strips which are two metres wide and also helps the liner to move a bit as it settles when the water is added.

    It's nice, but don't you think that white is just so yesterday?

    Anyway, the liner was then placed in a central position, ready to be rolled out.

    Oh...I nearly forgot to tell you, the Jackdaws just love the new bird bath.!!

    The Sparrows think that the Jackdaws are maybe just a wee bit mad.!!

    The Sparrows may just have a valid point.!!

    Whilst this is going on, the first drops of cool clear water are entering the new pond....!!

    As if by some sort of pre-arranged signal, the Red Arrows perform a distant fly by.

    Meanwhile, the Starlings are still a bit unsure about the new bird bath, could it be that they've been bathing somewhere else for the past few weeks?

    That's all for this time folks, until the next update, I hope that you've enjoyed all of this.

    Paul

    My bird photos HERE

  • In reply to gaynorsl:

    Really fascinating reading Paul - I had no idea how much work was invovled in creating a pond - your whole garden looks beautiful - you can tell how much work you and Mrs A must do in it.  Can't wait to see the finished article and then the subsequent photos of its new residents as they arrive!

    See my Flickr photos here

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/115745582@N04/

     

  • In reply to ChristineB:

    Thanks folks, the pond is actually a good bit further on than this update suggests, I just need to try to find the time to bring it all up to date.

    Paul

    My bird photos HERE