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CROW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)
Wednesday, 14th June 2017
Five a Day Market Garden, Englefield ~ Replacing pond liner

The garden's wildlife pond is a relatively new addition to the site but has already become home to numerous frogs, newts and a wide variety of insects and other creatures. Unfortunately the liner was leaking and the iris at its centre were beginning to occupy an excessive amount of space. Finding the 'right time' to replace the liner while minimising disturbance to the occupants was proving difficult but the need was becoming increasingly urgent.

The pond is regularly used by children visiting the site for dipping.

The first task was to empty the pond storing the water in containers.

It was Englefield Schools Day when pupils from local schools visit the village and estate to learn about life there both past and present. As a result we were joined by a steady stream of children eager to know what we were doing and see what wildlife had been discovered.

By mid morning most of the water was out and it was time to adjourn to Englefield Tearoom for a relaxing break.

Before the new liner could be installed the sludge - which was also populated with creatures - together with the stones and bricks that provided 'habitat' for the inhabitants had to be removed.

By the start of the afternoon we were ready to install the new liner.

Manoeuvring the liner into place proved to be an interesting proposition .....

..... and the best approach was the cause of some debate.

With the liner roughly in place we started returning the water allowing the weight to settle the liner.

Back home!

With the pond refilled we began replacing the plants and returning the stones.

Management inspection!

Job almost done, the iris had been returned to the water but needed a new container to restrain its vigour.

For next time!

Created: Monday, 19th June 2017
Photographs: Alan Stevens