Thursday, 22 March 2012

Restoring our pond - the destruction

Before work began
One of the first things we did when we moved into our home twenty years ago was to start putting in ponds.  The hard one to do was a pond for koi carp which we no longer have.  A lot easier to do was a pond built with wildlife in mind. It did not have to be as deep and had sloping banks for planting.
 We watched GARDENERS WORLD every week when GEOFF HAMILTON was presenting it and these bags made from old tights were one of his ideas. 

The culprit
 A boggy area at one end, planting shelves and sloping sides meant there were lots of cover for anything that made it their home.  There were some mistakes made with the first lot of planting so when the liner needed replacing and we had to get rid of the koi pond and fish we cleared out the whole pond, got rid of most the plants and used the old liner from the koi pond.  That was twelve years ago and the plants have got out of hand again.  The summer months can be spent pouring water into the pond over and over.  If we don't keep a close check the pond can be close to empty.

 This week we made a start - pumping the water into a butt to re-use.  There were at least twenty smooth newts in the pond.  The newts in our garden are a complete success - we were given thirteen when we first built the pond (we were only given them because their habitat had been destroyed) and now the garden is pretty much heaving with them.  There are times when anything moved reveals another newt - from very young ones to mature adults.

half way round
Only a third of the way round we discovered the true cause of the pond emptying, not any leaks there were roots from the silver birch tree (planted by us as a 12inch sapling many years ago) it had several roots growing over the top of the pond liner.  We had to cut through them to clear the pond. 
The butyl pond liner was 100% hole free.  We were very careful as we cut through the roots of the reeds, irises and the purple loosestrife (a beautiful plant the the bees adore but we are replacing it as it just gets so big. Over 6 foot high and clump forming. We still have one in another pond that we are keeping).  
Now all we need to do is finish cleaning up the last of the mud and wash the liner.  The roots of the Silver Birch had punctured the original PVC liner that we had left in situ when we last did the pond but not the butyl one.


  1. Was it really 20 years ago you moved in, some how I missed the digging of the Koi pond though I think Sean Trillo helped a lot. Mine was the

  2. Not quite twenty years - thats next year. Sean and Gary did most of the digging, I think there were a couple of others but I cannot remember who.