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Hand building a clay pond

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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Joined: 25 Jan 2003
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2011 at 8:27pm
The problem with the depth Jon, is I need to dig the clay out of the ground (which is going to make it deeper than it already is), there is the option of digging out the clay, back filling with the remaining topsoil and then puddling. I think first up I'll get the top soil out and see just what I've got to play with.

Yep Suz, I think this is just how they were. We have what remains of one in the field right behind us. It's never held water since I've lived here other than after very heavy rain, but my husband has said it did hold water up to about 20 years ago. It looks very much still like a massive saucer, despite having now been ploughed many times. A look on Google Earth still reveals the shape very well.


Edited by GemmaJF - 26 Sep 2011 at 8:28pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2012 at 1:34am
Just a quick update, the clay pond was too ambitious by far. When I started work on it last year even with machinery it was next to impossible.

So the pond sat for a year as a kind of shallow crater.

I'll be starting work on it again as soon as the reptile activity ceases for the winter in the wildlife garden, the plan now is simply to re-profile it and to put in a liner.

It seems I'm not very good at replicating a herd of sheep lol.

Out of interest the 'old dew pond' in the field mentioned in the post above did hold water for many months this year (For the first time in at least 10 years), plenty of it during the heavy rains this summer, so with any luck the local newts still have a breeding site this year. 



Edited by GemmaJF - 13 Sep 2012 at 1:36am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 2014 at 4:08pm
Just a new update on this topic. The pond is still just a crater, now an overgrown crater!

Further research has turned up a dried Sodium Bentonite supplier in the UK. This should provide a natural solution so the clay pond project is alive again! 

The Bentonite stuff is a puddling clay, just add water and it will expand to 10 times it's volume. It's low permeability and appears to be the ideal solution.

This time I'm waiting for dry weather, it will be a mid summer project as before we just got bogged down in the wet existing clay and it was hopeless trying to complete the project. (This I've now found was my first mistake lol).

Now the plan is to buy a large pallet of Sodium Bentonite (Fuller's Earth) and hire a plate compactor and possibly a cement mixer. More updates when work gets underway!





Edited by GemmaJF - 24 Feb 2014 at 4:09pm
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