Water for Wildlife

We are in COVID-19 lockdown since 25 March 2020. We’ve got reason not to travel far and we’ve got time at our hands.

So, what positive can we create?

Well, some years ago, the field next to us featured a couple of deep freshwater ponds and plenty of wildlife with it. There were frogs, toads and newts, the birds nested in the surrounding hedges and grass snakes bred. Their tiny young fetched up in our lawn in their dozens.

Then the farmer decided to fill in the ponds and level the ground. A couple of abandoned cars, a worne our trailer full of junk, assorted debris perhaps coming with more useful lots at last year’s farm sale and some silage bails grace the field now, along with heaps of excavation rubble from I don’t know where, nor what for.

A real improvement, surely fit for a stewardship scheme (sic)!

We’ve not seen grass snakes in years and because of the very dry spring this year, we’ve not seen or heard any sign of amphibians, either.

No puddles of rain water – no water for insects to bread and birds to drink.

What will the swallows feed their young, the bats hunt at dusk?

What more useful way to spend my holiday money this year than on installing a pond in our orchard?

We hired a mini digger and dug a hole 8 m across and 1 m down. I raked and shovelled to shape shelves for plants and rocks.

I smothed the surface and removed sharp stones.

Yesterday, the liner came, today we nearly broke our backs to drag it into place. Now it is filling with water. Slowly.

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