Horse Power at Hare Hill

Thanks to your help we raised £25,000 which enabled us to fund a horse team to come and dredge the garden ponds. This summer they successfully carried out this brand new conservation technique.

A woodland challenge

Four years ago, the pond at North Park View was dredged, and this significantly improved the water quality and wildlife environment. However the use of diggers resulted in some damage to the surrounding landscape. The other woodland ponds presented a new challenge. We knew they were up to 7 foot deep, yet the water level was only 9-12 inches; the rest was tree debris and sludge which had built up over many years. The ponds also lie within the densest part of the woodland garden. So this was our biggest challenge so far - to dredge the ponds using horse power.

" The horse is the most environmentally friendly method of doing this particular type of work... Carbon neutral, sustainable and powered by hay and grain produced by our solar system"
- Simon Lenihan

Horse power

An experienced horse logging team from Cumbria, led by Simon Lenihan,used a specially designed dredging cage to clear the ponds. Simon says "The horse is the most environmentally friendly method of doing this particular type of work: carbon neutral, sustainable and powered by hay and grain produced by our solar system. And the by-product - horse manure - goes back into the soil!"  We have collected the debris removed by Jasper and Bolero which will be turned into mulch for the garden

Jasper and Bolero after a hard day's work
Hare Hill Pond Dredging Day 6
Jasper and Bolero after a hard day's work

An ornamental garden

The ponds were part of Charles Brocklehurst's original vision for the garden; over many years their ornamental features have been obscured by spreading rhododentron ponticum, much of which was diseased. Most of this has been cleared, which together with the dredging will greatly improve the aesthetic appeal of this important part of the garden. The next phase of the project is to start replanting, using correspondence between Colonol Brocklehurst and his garden designer James Russell as our guide.

We still need your help, as this process of replanting the ponds will start now the horses have gone; please support us by buyling a raffle ticket at Hare Hill, or donating online here.

Timeline

25 Jun 18

The horses arrive

Jasper and Bolero arrived at Hare Hill yesterday to begin dredging the ponds. Simon, David and Keith from Ecologial Logging spent the day with our Ranger John testing the most efficient way of carrying out the dredging, then the horses got to work!

Hare Hill Ponds update imagwe 1

30 Jun 18

Nearing the end of week one

Day 6 and all is progressing well. The dredger has reached clay, and a large amount of debris has been removed from the first pond. Jasper and Bolero will be working on the second pond next week.

Hare Hill Pond Dredging Day 6

07 Jul 18

A new way of working

Towards the end of week 2, and Simon and the team are having great success using a different cage to drag the more solid debris from the second pond

pond dredging 7/7/18