'Rob. It's Bill. We'll be coming up to your place with the digger first thing'.
You would struggle to find words more exciting to the wildlife gardener: words to transform a man who qualifies for a bus pass into a small boy on Christmas morning.
We have gardened with biodiversity at the forefront of our thoughts since we began the Cordwood project. We love nature!!
We've got simple flowers to attract bees. Lots of bird boxes. Lots of bird food. Piles of rotting wood. Native plants. Tolerance!
But the biggest boost we can give wildlife starts today: our pond.
It'll be a big 'un: 18m in diameter and a depth of 1.7m. Gently sloping to the centre. Fed with rainwater from the roofs of our two bungalows. With a wonderful circumference of beautiful water plants and a 'beach' of stones.
|.. showing the perimeter path and the gentle shelving to the centre|
Our site was 'dry' when we arrived. At the top of a sandy, windy hill, there was no source of water for wildlife at all. And water is the key if you want to attract wildlife - for drinking, feeding, bathing and breeding.
Today Mark arrived with the 22 tonne 'bad boy' - a huge JCB digger with a bucket that scoops two tonnes of spoil out at a single sweep. A beast of a machine!
He worked all day and left us with a pond that may well rival Rutland Water one day!
|The HG joined by celebrity birder Ray Fox|
Marks work was the first step. Further steps will be to purchase and lay a liner and to cover the liner with 300mm of the 'spoil' we removed today. This will need compacting into place before the rain fills the pond naturally. Inevitably, this stage will trigger the longest drought ever recorded - put your pension on it. A cert.
We're impatient folks and so the best practice of simply leaving the pond vegetation to regenerate naturally will be difficult to follow. I'm know that the head gardener (HG) has had her books out, making lists. But the space is so big, nature will inevitably take its course - which should be the way in a wildlife pond.
|Mark surveys the days' work|
But, looking to the future, Bill and Marks endeavours today will transform our garden - for us and the wildlife that we hope will use it for many years to come.
Thank you so much.