Monday, December 2, 2013

Making water flow uphill

Just three months after being dug the pond was already looking
good. The water from the roof enters the pond under the pantile
in the centre of the far bank.

When we moved into our new shop at the top of the farmyard at Glandford we also took over the
managing of the half-acre field at the back. This became our wild flower meadow and viewing area for customers to test binoculars and scopes in a real world situation looking at some real birds and wildlife. One essential part of any wildlife garden is a pond, but being half way up a slope on sandy heathland soil that drains as freely as a colander made this a tricky thing to achieve. Obviously a pond liner was going to be essential and we also wanted to make use of the rainwater caught by the roof of the shop. In spite of the pond being up hill from the shop, with a bit of lateral thinking the solution was arrived at. The downpipe from the shops gutters went underground to a soak away some ten metres out into the field. It was a relatively simple task to find the end of the pipe and extend it to the location of the pond. Careful shaping of the pond edge has
How it works. Rain water from the shop roof fills the pond.
allowed the pipe to fill the pond and then to overflow back into the soak away. Even though the pond is higher than the the soak away and shop ground level there is a great enough head of water in the downpipe to push it up the slope and into the pond. Thanks to the size of the roof area, for every 1cm of rain 600 litres of water flow into the pond. This helps keep the water fresh and has kept the level up even in the driest spells over the last two years.

Even the smallest pond can be a haven for wildlife like this
Broad-bodied Chaser dragonfly (Libellula depressa)
In this short time we have had a good variety of aquatic life, including pond skaters, water boatmen, diving beetles, frogs, newts and toads and six species of dragonflies and damselflies. More vegetation is becoming established in and around the pond and it is a great place for the birds to come and drink and bathe.

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