The Pond Dredging Project
Three years ago, the pond at North Park View was dredged, and this has significantly improved the water quality and wildlife environment. However the use of diggers resulted in some damage to the surrounding landscape.
A Woodland Challenge
The other woodland ponds present a new challenge. We know they are up to 7 foot deep, yet the water level is only 9-12 inches; the rest is tree debris and sludge which has built up over many years. They also lie within the densest part of the woodland garden. So this is our most exciting project 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, is using a specially designed dredging cage to clear the ponds, and the debris will be turned into mulch for the garden. Simon says "The horse we used for the trial at Hare Hill is a Belgian Ardennes stallion called Rosco. Rosco is 7 years old, 156cm tall and weighs 800kg. These horses are from the Ardennes mountains which separate Belgium and France; they were the favoured breed of Napoleon, and he used them to pull his artillery during his war campaign. They were also praised by Julius Caesar for their strength and hardiness.
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 their by product goes back into the soil!"
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. We are in the process of clearing this, which together with the dredging will greatly improve the aesthetic appeal of this important part of the garden. Only when the ponds are dredged can we start replanting, using correspondence between Colonol Brocklehurst and his garden designer James Russell as our guide.
After a successful two-day trial in August 2016,we need to raise £25,000 to enable Rosco and his team to return, and help us continue the process of restoring our ponds. Please support us by donating to our JustGiving page - however large or small, it will make a difference.