November To December 2009

The water that had entered the lake in October during the high river levels had stayed within the pond confines giving a good indication that none of the groundwork's had caused any leaks. There had been signs during the silt depth measuring that the bed of the pond might have a clay lining  but during the excavation process it appeared that a clay seam ran along the length of the pond. The left half of the pond being predominantly gravel and the right half clay at the same given overall depth. The rain during early November had once again caused the rivers to rise and subsequently fill the ditch leading to the pond from the River Loddon. Although there was insufficient water enter the pond, it showed up an ingress of water from the side of the sluice wall which needed to be investigated. The sluice was once again plugged and the bank dug out along side the sluice wall. After digging down some four feet and pretty much level with the inner floor of the sluice it could be seem that water was indeed leaking into the surrounding soil and back into the pond. In this instance, if water was finding its way into the lake other than through the sluice then it mould most certainly find its way out. As a result, the sluice floor was completely re-screeded and the side wall shuttered and filled with concrete and allowed to set.

As the rain had been fairly consistant over the previous few days it was decided to take out the plug within the sluice now that the concrete had set, and , with a rising river proved to be the right decision, as the next day along with very heavy rain overnight the rivers burst their banks. The floods at this point were not enough to overcome the banks around the pond but the sluice allowed the water to flow in as planned and the lake began to fill. The floods and rain to come would be enough to fill the pond probably three times over. 

The following pictures were taken from the small boat the club borrowed from Swallowfield House when the pond was treated with Siltex. The water level was now at its correct level with no excess overflowing from the sluice.

 Disabled Fishing Station RH bank stations

 LH bank stations RH bank fishing stations

 LH bank fishing stations

 The pictures below show the Siltex from Aquatic Chalks Ltd being applied by boat. In total, one tone of Siltex was used to treat the pond of about one acre in size. The use of the small outboard engine, was in our eyes, pretty much essential, not only cutting down on human effort but aiding in stirring up the water as the Siltex was added from the front of the boat. The process took a good couple of hours to complete due to the boat being quite small and with two adults and an outboard already adding a lot of weight, three 75kg bags of chalk almost pushed things to the limit. The bags had already been distributed to the stations so loading would only mean taking the boat up to the swim and loading from there.

Treating with Siltex Empty! ready for another load of Siltex

Before the heavy rains in November, it had been planned to hire a small bobcat loader to move the remaining piles of silt into the fishing stations that had not been back filled yet. Unfortunately with the ground now very soft, it would have been unwise to proceed with this, leaving some of the stations still to be filled. This will probably be undertaken by hand for the time being although being rather slow. It is now planned to monitor the water quality over a period of time ready for the stocking of fish in the future and will be another major step towards completing the project. The stocking will of course be photographed and recorded and placed on the site when the event happens.