In the 1990's a new pond was created on site to enhance the local wildlife. A recycled-plastic dipping platform was added later in 2009. Sadly this pond became overgrown and silted up - which is where this project began.
In 2018 it was decided to do some much-needed restoration to the pond and to put in a liner to reduce the drainage in the summer months, allowing the new pond to be used for local school groups to learn about our local nature and how to care for it.
Our Stour Valley Supporters group placed a project bid to the Greggs Environmental Grant Fund who awarded us £2000, paying towards the cost of the liner.
September 2018 with volunteers creating a dead hedge along the back of the site running parallel to the top path using brash cuttings and holly stakes.
The overgrown willows were cut back, some have been left for future coppicing and the dead wood left to rot down naturally nearby.
The stumps were removed in late spring and bunding built up around the pond to reduce future flooding from the river.
In front of the bunding a post and rail fence (with gate) is added with smaller 'natural' uprights along it to stop dogs from being able to enter yet still allowing wildlife to move freely back and forth.
The remaining water was drained off (channelling it into a small stream that runs into the river), the pond lined, refilled and planted along with the surrounding bank. The new pathway was graded with a limestone top rising gently to the gate, then down towards the platform and pond to allow easy disabled access. Two bench seats have been added to give a great viewing spot for schools to sit and watch the wildlife around the pond.
Now work is completed the pond will be allowed to naturally mature (as we have done with our wildlife pond at Kingfisher Barn) – wildlife will find their own way to the water and surrounding vegetation. Small log and brash piles will provide natural shelters for amphibians, insects, small mammals and hedgehogs along with a bug hotel and hibernaculum.
Fruits, nuts and blossom
A native hedge will be planted in November with the whips being donated from The Woodland Trust and will be made up of fruiting, flowering and wildlife-friendly native species such as rowan, elder, crab apple, dogwood, wild cherry, hazel, dog rose, hawthorn and blackthorn.
Pond dipping is a great outdoor activity that really connects young people with nature and their environment. This project will enable wildlife to colonise the pond, creating a fantastic educational resource for local schools, increase the local biodiversity by providing a sustainable breeding site for amphibians and the perimeter fence will also ensure a dog-free zone.