Jo's News and Views Pond Restoration Story 2021

Hello Everyone

Here is a little something extra for you this month.

I've put together a collection of photos showing the pond restoration.

It became obvious several years ago that there was a problem with the pond liner. Every summer the water level would drop and coupled with severe siltation there was not a lot of water or oxygen, photos 1 and 2. So a decision was made to fully restore the pond back to its former glory.

When Richard was appointed Head Gardener he realised quite early on that something would have to be done about this problem so after discussing the options with Projects manager, Paul Roper, he researched companies that could do the necessary work. The Authority tendered out the job and the successful company was Aquamaintain who were experienced in this line of work.

The work started in the middle of March and boards were laid down to protect the lawn from unnecessary damage, photos 3 and 4. The tracks for the buckets to run on were added so that the silt could be whisked away for removal, photo 5. The weather was not helpful at all. April was very hot and dry making the earth very hard to dig. Then May was one of the wettest on record which again made working conditions difficult. On top of that there was Covid isolation periods going on. I'm sure there were times when Richard wondered what on earth he had taken on, photos 6 to 12.

However, the team pulled through and progress was made and by the end of May the silt had been removed and the pond was taking shape again, . The contractors used a bentonite clay liner and covered it with soil to create a more natural look, photos 13 to 15. The contouring and tidying up afterwards made sure that the pond recovered quickly and the replanting around the pond started immediately, photos 16 to 18. The only problem then was how to fill it up again, photos 19 to 21! Thames Water expressed an interest in helping due to historic connections but then went quiet so Richard was delighted when the Grounds Maintenance team at Tottenham Hotspur training ground next door said the garden could use water from their borehole, photo 22. This took several days but the pond was finally filled, photos 23 to 26. The wildlife soon started to return. Daisy duck arrived with her ducklings, photo 27 and dragonflies were appearing on a regular basis, photo 28.

This project was a huge undertaking and congratulations to Richard for all his hard work, sleepless nights and dedication in making sure that this was a success. A living legacy and another piece in the overall restoration story for the garden at Myddelton.

Best Wishes

Jo



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