It started with a hole……
We moved house at the end of 2012. The garden was overgrown with far too much lawn for my liking but, worse than that…. no pond! If you want wildlife, you need water. So, in March we dug a shallow hole, 6ft across and allowing for four inches of water and a deeper central section.
We put builder’s sand in the base, covered it with fleece and finally a butyl liner weighed down with some stones The ‘pond’ was left to fill naturally with rainwater (not difficult in Wales!) and later I tucked the liner under the turf and created a bog garden on one side, where water had naturally overflowed.
At the beginning of May we had an old tree cut down so I put a couple of the branches into the pond to create a natural way for animals to climb in and out. Sacking round the edges provided purchase for grass and other plants to take root and cobbles gave shelter to little creatures. We put in some oxygenating weed and a few plants, bought or foraged from other ponds; it started to look a little like a pond! And then they came…..
Damsel flies, hover flies, alder flies – even a dragonfly or two. By July the pond was crawling with life. Whirligig beetles, pond skaters, backswimmers, water boatmen, diving beetles and snails, not to mention a myriad of little creatures like daphnia and cyclops, which I could just make out if I lay on the grass and stared into the water. I did a lot of that!
Finally, the biggest excitement of all, at the end of July and for a couple of months thereafter, the big guns had arrived… I spotted no less than eight different individuals, sometimes more than one at a time. It was the biggest seal of approval that a new pond could have. Now I am patiently waiting, hoping to see them again in a month or so – the nursery is all ready 🙂