The far side is terraced and gently slopes down to the water, and the near side is much steeper. The dark mess in the middle is a group of ancient tree stumps which he has left there as a sort of shelf within the lake providing a higher area under water. Once this lake has filled (yes he went below the water table) this will smooth out and become something like a sand bar under the water in case they need a shallower area.
The left side here is steeper. This is because this side will be the viewing and picnic area and we don’t want young children running down to the ducks and scaring them. The far side is where the geese and ducks can sit and sunbathe peacefully, and if any waterfowl do walk around to this side for titbits and to meet people, then that is up to the ducks! Lol.
The old culvert leading into the pond has been cleared and widened, again giving another shallow area for access, and we shall line this with pebbles and mini waterfalls as the flow trickles into the new lake.
Where the culvert comes in from the right here, a new fixed bridge has been made from recycling our old culvert pipes that were once at the entrance of the old driveway. To the right of the bridge is a larger ‘filter pond’. This is a very deep square hold so as the water from the culvert comes in, it will go into this pond first…. drop any sediments etc, and then only the higher cleared water will flow under the bridge and into the lake. Very clever stuff! All we have to do is keep this ‘filter pond’ emptied if it builds up with too much sediment. We shall place a large square mesh over the top (used in building sites) to stop anyone falling in should they wander this far.
The digger has now moved on to creating the level base for the public toilets. This will be at the end of the ‘picnic terrace’ and to the right there in front of the digger.
Two large gates will be placed here to separate our private ‘back garden’ area. Toilets on right, picnic terrace behind, and front left is where the MUV can drive back and around carrying the stock feeds each day to feed the animals every morning. It just ‘flows’ and this is what we wanted….to make it more practical, open, and with designated areas for visitors.
A new 5,000 gallon septic tank has been installed to cater for having additional public toilets on the farm. The rule of thumb is ‘one chamber per bathroom unit’. Two new public toilets, plus our house bathroom means we needed a 3 chamber large septic tank. And here it is! I keep saying to everyone it looks like a ‘mini sub’ and we should paint it yellow…. I get disapproving looks all round! This has taken two days to install and a new huge effluent bed was created too. This is the correct way to install any septic tank, leaving no surface water, smell or waste. No one will ever know it’s there once covered over and this new one will last a lifetime or more. A huge expense and earthworks, but worth all the effort to ‘get it right’
Looking down the new ‘road’ down towards the septic tank and toilet area. This is the new retainer wall going up which creates the ‘flow’ for the MUV (multi utility vehicle = quad bike with trailer) to drive around dropping off the buckets of various stock feeds to the pens each day. It will be a metre high, and all the posts will be sawn off and levelled once the drainage and retainer planks are in place. A pipe with ‘sock’ and filters of graded stones are being put in place to avoid flooding or having ‘waterfalls’ in Winter. Clever stuff, and it’s all been lined up straight by laser beams and other technical gizmos! Today the digger will make a flat terrace, about a metre wide, and then the rest of the earth at the top will be pulled back and ‘curved’ away to the top level where the animal pens are. The perfect place for a beautiful hanging garden of pretties and no bending to do the weeding! Heaven!
Looking down from the public toilets area. It doesn’t look much now, but once planted up it will be stunning! The space here is enormous, and deep enough to now take rescue swans too! I shall put out an appeal for plants/grass seeds, and thought it would be lovely to let anyone from the community pop along and plant up anything they may have spare to help create this waterfowl haven. I think it will be great for people to pop along in future years and say “oh, there’s my old rose in the corner!” and suchlike. This way, the rescue farm is ‘for the community and by the community’. We have simply given over our land to animal rescue and set about the initial task of the huge earthworks and design. Now everyone is welcome to help with their input in creating it and finishing it off. We hope to save more lives, and more animals from far and wide can be catered for with better space and shelters, and more visitors and potential rehomers. “If we build it, they will come….”