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Can we dig it? Yes we can!

August 19, 2010
A post by Becky
Sam’s Amazing Supersquad

A few weeks ago we spent 2 days helping with a pond restoration near Langton Matravers in the Purbeck. We felt this needed a blog of its own as there are lots of lovely pictures and we created a very impressive pond. 

Digging for gold, but all we found was a plastic plant pot

 

Near to the pond we were restoring, is a wooded area with some already established ponds that contain Great Crested Newts, and we were restoring our pond to create an additional habitat for these newts to live in. 

On the first day the supersquad met Rachel and the landowner, Bunny, a top bloke who was already there hard at work when we arrived. The first task was to clear the pond of the brambles and trees that were growing over the pond area. We loaded it all into the back of Bunny’s trailer, and the next time we were there we found out that we’d cut down over half a ton of vegetation!! 

Plenty of work for plenty of people

After lunch and poetry time we started to dig out the pond. The old pond has an old stone base so we started digging down to find the base. 

Matt keeps a watchful eye on the inmates

 
On our next visit to the start we spent the day purely digging out the pond. One part of the pond was particularly muddy, and most people got stuck in it and nearly lost wellies.

Becky carefully stays clear of the mud to avoid the inevitable

All we need now is some rain to fill up the pond, and hope the newts move in. Thanks to Rachel for amazing brownies and Bunny’s sister for the tasty cake……… cos the Supersquad works best when fueled by cake 🙂 

 

We love ponds so much (well, cake) that we met up with Rachel again today to restore another one in the same sort of area. This pond had the best view so far, looking out over Corfe Castle. 

It sure is a pond with a view

 

The pond was huge, but due to the lovely summer weather we’ve been having it had completely dried up. This is not good for our little newt friends, so to try to retain some of the water in future summers we wanted to dig out a section of the pond to make it deeper.  

The area to under go cheesing

 

Firstly we removed some of the plants from the bottom and had a look around the rest of the pond to see what exciting plants there were – our new favourite plant is the Veronica beccabunga (who wouldn’t love a plant with a name like that!),  which has smooth oval-oblong shaped leaves and blue flowers.  Then we dug out this section down to the part stone base, part clay base. 

It may look more messy than when we started but once its full of water it will be grand

 

It was tiring work, but that didn’t stop us from playing bin ball when we got back to the centre, and enjoying our poetry time at lunch when we ventured into the small wooded area to visit a massive veteran oak tree that was 6m in circumference

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