Small Woodland Owners' Group


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Postby tracy » Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:50 pm

Do you have a pond in your woodland?

Do you want to dig one?

Join the million ponds project!

Do remember, wise to get advice before putting in a pond ;-)

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Postby RichardKing » Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:27 pm

Dont forget you will also need planning permission.

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Postby Dennis » Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:05 pm

We looked at a woodland which already had a pond, and investigated the regulations. The main thing seemed to be that it should not cause flooding (e.g. if a retaining earthwork gave way). But it's also a size thing: a pond has to be quite big before it's caught by the rules which are really aimed at small reservoirs.

Perhaps; check here

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Postby tracy » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:40 am

There is a free pond course coming up in London, 29th Oct

Anyone want to go, I am tempted...

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Postby docsquid » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:10 am

We have six ponds in our woods. When we took ownership there was one pond marked on the OS map which no longer exists, now being a damp pit instead. There was another pond that had been dug about 20 years ago and had almost entirely silted up except for a small area at the lower end. It was badly designed - a very deep excavation on a slope with steep sides, and no proper bank at the lower end, which had resulted in waterlogging at the lower end, and the death of two oak trees.

Last year we restored this pond by dividing it into three and making it terraced instead of a single pond that had to be very deeply excavated at the upper end of the slope. We also put a proper bank at the lower end with a trench down to the ditch to avoid the waterlogging that had been created by a poorly-designed pond. We did not need planning permission to restore this existing pond.

We also created three new ponds. We have a large boggy area in our wood, and we didn't want to destroy the damp area, but we also wanted to add habitat. These new ponds were at the edge of the boggy area, and the ground is sufficiently damp to allow the ponds to remain full almost all of the year - one of them dries out to separate puddles in dry weather. They are linked, and the first pond takes the drainage from the roof of our new building. We got planning permission for all these ponds when we got permission for our building. The latter was only granted because there was a World War I concrete base already there (an old pig shed) and we therefore were not putting down a new area of concrete (although we did replace the old concrete as it wasn't up to the job).

I would say the ponds have been a real success. We've attracted lots of new dragonflies, we have got grey wagtails, mallard and herons on the site now, and the new triple pond is a great improvement over the original, with proper shallow areas and marginal plants. We had a great deal of helpful advice from the Pond Conservation Trust and followed it, and we hope the ponds will mature in the coming years.

Obviously we were too early to join the Million Ponds Project, but it is an excellent idea. However you do need the right kind of land profile and soil - we had a natural area of clay and didn't need to do any lining - it just stays wet! Lining the ponds would have been very expensive and a good deal of hassle.

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Postby Exeldama » Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:42 am

I dug a pond in July. Its a wonderous thing watching things happen.

In my case i found some boggy ground at the base of a slope where water was draining off, dug a test pit watched it fill and hold water into June. The ground is Clay so i took a chance and cracked on with zeal.

I figured at worst i would have a large hole to hide in, at best an aquatic delight.

Currently there has been very little rain so hard to judge whats going to happen, but i suspect it will take a couple of years to fill if it does..... however up til now about 4 inches in it which isnt going anywhere. Deer, fox and various birds are all drinking from it and being below a small hill i can watch everything and will shortly create a Hide for viewing.

I cant wait to see what colonises it. Pond skaters were there in a day...amazing stuff.

I would seriously suggest anyone and eveyone to include some form of water source in their wood , however small...

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Postby tracy » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:27 am

Just to remind us all, there are some good guides on line about pond building:

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Postby Exeldama » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:31 pm

Pond update.... se above. My pond is full and filled in a couple of weeks with lovley English rain. The excavated ground is already recovering fast, and come spring things should be in full swing. The deer, foxes and the like a ll drink from it and i cant wait. Im probably going to add another this year .... best thing in the wood.

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Postby James M » Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:46 pm

Exeld - did you bother with planning permission or just get on and do it? We've got a few boggy bits which I'd want to dig out properly.

James M
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Postby Catweazle » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:13 pm

When I spoke to Natural England about ponds they suggested one that was seasonal as well as one permanent. The idea is that seasonal ponds don't allow large predators to grow so insects and newts breed more successfully.

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