Tuesday, 10 March 2009

How to make a Mini Pond (Part I)

I was thinking - there are probably lots of blog readers out there who would like a pond on their plot or in their garden.

Like me, you may have come across bureaucratic challenges on this one (see previous pond posts and comments). So what's a workable answer for busy people like us who need to press on with fruit and veg planting at this hectic time of year, but still want a home for their frog spawn?

Make a mini pond! Surely no-one can complain a very tiny pond is a health and safety risk, can they? I've found some step-by-step instructions on the BBC Wales 'Wild about Nature' website. You need an old sink, or a washing up bowl and some gravel to start with. I'm going to try this tomorrow. I've got two old ones I could re-use.

I've also found out that the Allotments Regeneration Initiative have a brilliant new site. For a small fee they'll send out fact sheets. They have one on 'Health and Safety on allotments: advice on activities requiring special management'. They say:

'Low fencing should not be necessary around a pond or water feature unless there is a drop from a well-used edge into deep water (more than 1.5m). Low fencing around a pond draws attention to the hazard but might not necessarily prevent access to the pond - it is only a partial solution and can lead to a false sense of security...'

(There's a mismatch of information going on here as it was the council who sent me the ARI leaflet and Parks and Gardens insisted that I would need a fence for the first pond design I suggested - and there's no way that was 1.5 m deep - more like four inches.)

No matter. ARI also specifically advocate the use of washing up bowls for small ponds. Hooray! We might get our pond after all! Although I don't know how I'm going to afford the architect's fees to draw up the plans which I still need to submit to our council.

For your further delight and entertainment I'm including here a few more links to lovely frog and pond websites: Turning Earth has great pictures of happy tadpoles and frogs in a mini pond in Yorkshire.

Froglife is great too. Includes answers to burning topical questions such as 'I feel I've got too much frog spawn, what can I do?'

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