In May AES Europe went to do the desilting work needed at Earith Village Pond. This was at the time when we half believed that there might be a drought despite the vast amount of rain that was tipping down regularly… The village pond needed cleaning out but transporting tonnes of silt away from the site in lorries was too costly for the parish council budget. The eventual answer agreed on was to create a slightly smaller pond by installing a geolon and post bund and backfilling with the silt; this would create an area that could be planted with native plants to encourage wildlife. A silt trap would also be created to prevent detritus entering the pond and creating a problem. The reeds in the silt trap would polish the incoming water and reduce the level of nitrates so reducing the conditions that algae requires to bloom.
Hazel Lambert, from the parish council kept a photographic record of the work regardless of the weather.
Tony digging, warm and dry, temporarily!
The work attracted spectators; the Great British public will watch anything! A small boy went home with the goldfish to put them in his fish tank.
This pond has no fish in it… except these!
We have no idea where the goldfish came from… we think a fish fairy must deliver them. Of course they are a non-native species and don’t belong in ponds where they can move through into a watercourse. They breed prolifically and hybridise with carp readily adding to the genetic muddle that is the carp family in the UK.
And it rained but the desilting carried on…
Tony starting to move silt to the far end of the pond to build up the bund. And still the rain came down.
Lewis, Robert, Darren and Tony take a moment to pose for Hazel. Could be a contender for the AES Europe Ltd calendar 2013… or maybe not! Some ponds have to pumped out more than once. Some wellies have to be drained down too.
The almost completed silt trap. The posts were rigged, then silt was backfilled in to create a level platform for the coir carpet. Once the the Phragmites australis was planted then a netted frame was placed on top to prevent the depredations of the water fowl who trample little plants and treat lush growing tips as bonne bouches.
The sun comes out on the new silt trap
Filling in the spaces
Using the silt to backfill the bund offers a natural growing medium and the microscopic inhabitants of the pond remain close to home and can find their way back into the pond. And then the sun came out and Darren set to planting native marginal plants. They are all perennial plants and will bulk up and seed over the seasons providing a dense margin and a rich habitat for wildlife.
Darren in the sunshine planting some new plants
The ever-popular ducks are never far away when the work is being carried out. They pop in and out of muddy puddles dabbling for snacks and observing the workmen.
Daffy settling in among the new plants around the new edges.
Hazel took one final photo in the sunshine after we left. There are a couple of chores to pop back and do. AES Europe Ltd always carries out follow up visits and any snagging can be cleared up. We will also return to remove all the mesh when the plants are up to a duck resistant size.
And the sun shines on the completed job…
Village ponds are always a pleasure to work on. The villagers always enjoy coming to watch the work. And they appreciate what the parish councils carry out on their behalf, This sort of work is almost as personal as working in somebody’s garden… village ponds are within the the heart of a village and are watched and cared about often very passionately.
There’s one final photo from Hazel…
Lewis stealing pond water…
That small boy has NEVER seen such wet socks in all his life.