Frank's vision is to create a water garden you can walk into via steps and a small jetty. It's to be a place of beauty for people to enjoy but also one that increases biodiversity on the farm. The pond is to be planted with many pollinator-friendly species and, in time, become a haven for wildlife.
The first job was to drain the pond and clear the banks of nettles and other perennial weeds that had taken over. Wwoofers armed with slashers, spades and trusty garden forks got stuck in and soon we could start planting.
Steps were built using old railway sleepers which made the pond much more accessible (we nearly lost a few tools and Frank himself to the deep mud!).
Frank managed to spend very little money on plants through sourcing things from the farm itself and other contacts, donations or propagation.
Around the pond's margins (in or just above the water) we planted Juncus Grass and just above this Miscanthus sinensis which will spread and whose soft heads will look nice in winter. The bright green and red bark of Shrubby Dogwoods planted along both banks will also bring winter colour to the pond. Hart's Tongue Fern (Phyllitis scolopendrium) was planted into the edges where the stream enters the pond creating an instant fern gully. The upper parts of the bank were planted with the pollinator-friendly flowering plants Rud Beckia and Abyssinian Gladiolus, while in the water there is Papyrus and Yellow Flag Iris.
There are still a few more improvements to be made including more planting (White Water Buttercups, Water Lillies, Bull Rushes and Horsetail) and building a jetty. The banks will need to be tended to eliminate the last of the perennial weeds that were choking the pond but Frank sees it becoming self-maintaining in two or three years. A lot of hard work went into this project and it's a huge reward just seeing the impressive difference, even before things have had a chance to take root and spread out.