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Pond Restoration

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We are delighted to report we have just restored an old pond at Rectory Farm!  With help from Beccy at Anglian Water, and Chris and Vik from the Welland & Nene River Trusts, an old neglected pond is now well on its way to becoming a haven for aquatic life, insects and birds.

Back in August we were contacted by Anglian Water to see if there were any projects on the farm on which they could lend their expertise, to improve water quality.  We identified a pond at the bottom of a slope adjacent to the Eyebrook Reservoir, which collects water from across the fields through a network of land drains, this then flows through a pipe into the reservoir.  We noticed there was soil erosion in the field running to the pond, so with the help of a 13 tonne digger we dug out the pond, cleared the pipes feeding it, and created a bund in front to catch soil before it enters the water.

When digging out the pond we found the original drinking trough, this would have been installed in the 1930’s, the fields were grass then and were grazed by cows and sheep, as was much of the Welland Valley before the war.  The farmers then were known as graziers, as they grew all grass and earnt a living from grazing the land.  When war came the Welland Valley had to play its part in feeding the nation by ploughing up its old pasture.  Lay farming was introduced which was growing cereals and root crops, then going back to grass every few years.  It was lovey to see the old drinker and stand and imagine the valley of grass all that time ago, even before the creation of the reservoir.

Once the pond had been dug out and all the old sediment and sludge removed we could begin planting, this was the fun part!  We love encouraging the public onto the farm and engaging with the local community, and planting a pond gave us an excellent opportunity to do just that.  We enlisted the help from locals and villagers, and a youth group from Corby, and over two days we planted around 700 plug plants round the pond.  Our thanks to Chris French from the Welland Rivers Trust for organising the plants and whilst planting, educating us on the importance of ponds and all about the different species we were planting, and what a great habitat we were creating.  The weather was kind to us and the plugs were planted in well, it was certainly dirty work which the children loved!  A big thank you to the wonderful volunteers, we look forward to inviting them all back next summer to see the pond in all it’s glory!

The planting however did bring some unwanted attention… in the form of a flock of geese who on the evening after our exciting day thought it would be a great game to fly down and pluck out the plug plants!!  We replaced them all and thankfully they can’t of found the game that amusing, as they didn’t return to do it again!