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!
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. In summer 2018 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"
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
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.
This work will be part of a wider project to replant and improve the wooded garden, and to open up a new area which will include a wildflower meadow. Please support us by buying a raffle ticket at Hare Hill, or donating online here.
25 Jun 18
The horses arrive
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.
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