Monday, 3 June 2013
Extending the duck pond
The imminent arrival of our ducklings has concentrated our attention on the duck pond. It was dug initially as a wildlife pond two years ago and by this time last year it was full of newts and frogs. Within a couple of weeks of getting the ducks in September, they had wrecked it. Ducks are messy and eat all pond plants. All wildlife has abandoned it other than a great deal of algae. It needs to be drained and cleaned but before we do that we are going to increase its volume. More ducks will be using it once we introduce our ducklings (read the following blog post) to the allotment.
We cannot dig outwards from the pond except on one side, given the constraints of space. And even on that one side, we are only going to extend it by about 15cm. We cannot dig deeper as the bottom of the pond is on thick, heavy, solid clay. The solution is to raise the sides of the pond, using material I am currently digging out of the ground to create our final drainage channel. There is plenty of pond liner around the edge of the pond which can go over the extra material. We should be able to increase the water depth by at least 30cm. It will mean a bigger volume of water, suitable for the greater number of ducks.
You can see on the above photo that we have already raised the far side of the pond. On the photo below, we have deposited some of the material on the 2nd side. An interesting point is that the ducks are now much tamer than they were last year when we first got them. Then they always moved away from us. Now, when they see us digging, they come over to investigate and grab any worms they find.