This squelchy weather has spurred me on to get round to digging out an extension for the pond, now that there seem to be quite a few frogs and toads around – I figured that they will probably need a bit more room to breed now, rather than being in each other’s webby pockets all the time. So I trimmed the hedge a bit (such an unpleasant sensation when blackthorn and brambles poke you in the unmentionables as you bend over to dig), and dug out a shallow-ish trough at the end of the current pond. This is in the space between the hedge and the Fivepenny polytunnel, right next to the hedge, so pretty sheltered; and as the bottom of a slight angled slope from the fields, it’s always wet here anyway. I tried to make shallower slopes to the sides of this pond, since the long sides of the original pond are pretty steep so not ideal for wildlife – although the two ends have a gentler slope, and I’d piled up lots of stones in the ends to make a nice shallow rocky paddling pool.
While tugging out some leftover polytunnel for the pond lining, I discovered this rather grumpy and damp Dor beetle, that staggered off to dry itself on a nearby grass tuft. It’s possibly the fattest beetle I’ve seen at the farm, and it probably appreciates the amount of manure around from the horses and cattle, as apparently it’s a kind of dung beetle.
I then cut the plastic to fit the hole, with an overlap hanging over the edges of the dug pond, and placed the removed mud and turf back on the edges to keep the liner in place. I filled up a few watering cans from the water butts to weigh the plastic down, but since there is more rain forecast, I’ll let the pond mostly fill up naturally. I also cleared a small channel from the original pond to the new extension, so any overflow will go to the new pond, and then when that overflows, carry over into the hedge and ditch underneath. The whole thing only took about an hour or so; hopefully the liner was as intact as it looked and will start to fill up nicely this week, when I’ll drop in some pond weed from the first pond to help keep the water clean an habitable.