Archie Crutchlow rushed out this morning to take pictures of the completed island knowing that Darren and Lewis had finished off the work after dark last night. They did an incredible job with the water rising as the rain came down all week.
Huge thanks to Archie and Lorne Crutchlow for the amazing amount of tea they provided and the hospitality of their deck.
Hopefully the ducks will find their way home soon. The mesh and wood construct on the new island is to prevent them grubbing about among the perennial plants that have gone in to overwinter. With the best will in the world ducks have great big feet that obliterate plants in seconds.
Update – the fence can be taken down on Monday 8th October and the village can have their pond back.
One of those random moments on a site when you realise somebody is awol…
The work at Storrington is nearly finished. Lewis and Darren are going to finish off the planting next week and probably be part of the rising water level as the predicted rain starts the refilling process.
Mudskipper in full camouflage
This is Lewis Collins, mudskipper extraordinaire, fully equipped to combat silt wherever he finds it. Now with added facial foliage for the winter months, apparently growing his own thermals!
Feed the birds…
This is the feeding platform for the Storrington ducks. Hopefully all the kids will enjoy feeding Daffy and co on dry land. This will prevent the mass of bread that fouls the water so badly going in the pond. It is important to encourage everyone to only feed appropriate food to wild birds. They eat grass and grain, bugs and interesting wiggly things that swim in the water. But bread isn’t natural bird diet food, it makes them lardy and lazy and in the long term affects their ability to lay eggs and even to migrate. Not good.
The Heras fence will stay up for the time being at Storrington so that the pond can fill up without people jumping in and wandering out to the islands.
We’d like to thank Lindy Walby at this point for her big breakfasts that kept body and soul together.
Desilting works started at Storrington, West Sussex in mid-August 2012.
When the water was being drained from the pond items such as purses and handbags were found; the bike was the largest item. The police took all the items away. As the pond has been desilted previously there wasn’t any interesting “archaeology” as such, although there were a few modern coins that may have been thrown in for good luck perhaps.
Heras fencing has been erected all along the pavement to secure the site and to prevent accidents to passersby. Heras gives great visibility and pond watchers have been visiting regularly and keeping up to date with the work’s progress. Lots of passersby have been watching the desilting project with interest. Families visit the pond every day and have been visiting to see what is happening. Lots of people have been taking photos regularly. Hopefully some of them will be displayed locally and printed in a parish magazine.
Photo: R Cockroft
The water quality had been a major issue at Storrington; for many years the algae problem was sending the water an intense bright green. When the regular sample came the the lab for water quality testing it wasn’t unusual to have to filter the water for some hours before tests with the photometer could be carried out. Once the desilting is complete the new island will be planted with Phragmites australis and a pump will be installed to circulate the pond water through the reeds to strip the nutrients out of the water. This will greatly reduce the opportunity algae has to flourish.
Photo: R Cockroft
The new island has been created by driving in posts and creating a “wall” with geotextile. The silt from the bottom of the pond has been drained and worked over the last couple of weeks and has now been piled into the new island. It makes a great growing medium for the plants which have been grown from hand-collected seed at our nursery.
The original island has been encircled with posts and another geotextile wall. More silt has infilled that new area and more plants will finish the job.
Photo: R Cockroft
The new island in the photo above reminds me of a wood “henge”. Maybe in 500 years the post hole will be intriguing archaeologists.
The desilting is going well at Storrington village pond. If you are passing hoot and wave – Tony and co love the attention!
Hoping to have photos to show and tell soon! It will be great for Storrington to have a lovely refreshed, clean pond. It has suffered dreadfully over the years and the algae levels were truly dreadful. Getting the samples filtered for water quality testing could take up to 8 hours! We have been working for some years towards this desilting programme and the Parish Council have worked tirelessly to make the project happen.
Very soon there will be a whole new bed of Phragmites australis filtering the water which will be a great help in controlling the algae. These are individually grown UK native plants, from hand collected seeds, provided by our own nursery. The reeds will filter the water as it enters the pond and will substantially improve the quality of the water and help control the algae.
Eventually the village pond could be re-stocked with UK native fish; a nice selection of species to establish a balanced population would be perfect. Legend has it that the visiting fairs used to off-load their surplus goldfish (definitely NOT a UK native fish) into the pond before leaving town.
Storrington like many other ponds, has a resident population of ducks. The mums and dads brought their kids along to throw bread to the ducks (and, incidentally, to the HUGE population of goldfish). Of course bread isn’t a natural diet for birds, and its not good for them. And bread isn’t good for ponds either. . . what isn’t eaten simply rots. Hopefully we will be able to assist the happy duck lovers of Storrington to feed the ducks on land by creating a feeding pad and encouraging feeding with REAL bird food! Any excess food can be brushed away for small creatures to benefit from.
Really looking forward to seeing the end results….