Honley Village Community Trust
Creation of a Temporary Pond/Scrape
Magdale Fields and Dam are owned by Honley Village Community Trust. It is adjacent to the River Holme and a popular beauty spot. The Trust manages the land through a group of volunteers and aims to encourage a biodiverse environment. We work with River Holme Connections and other local groups and have recently planted trees and sown wildflower seed. Magdale Dam was a millpond and attracts a variety of birdlife.
During the recent floods a temporary pond was formed at the base of a sloping field. It is an area that gets very boggy at such times. We would like to take advantage of this natural feature to create a ‘temporary pond’, a shallow pond which would exist as a pond for approximately 9 months in the year. We expect that this would attract birdlife, frogs etc. which would help to increase the biodiversity in the area. The creation of the temporary pond would involve digging out of the area to enable a pond liner to be laid before covering again with earth and planting with marginal plants..
- As we are trying to create a biodiverse environment the addition of a temporary pond would provide a different micro- environment in this area, making use of an area that becomes boggy during the winter months. We anticipate that it would attract some different wildlife to the area
- The local community makes significant use of Magdale Fields with established paths throughout the area. The Temporary Pond would be next to the main footpath through the Fields and would therefore be a feature that would be of interest and benefit to the community. It is a feature that we could build on with benches to enable people to observe the wildlife.
There was a delay to commencing our project for a wetland area/pond due to Covid restrictions. However, we started in March 2021 by using a small digger to dig out an area where we wanted the pond to be. With the help of volunteers, we then placed a basic pond liner across the area and back filled with most to the soil that had been scrapped to the side. The following week we filled the pond by pumping in water from the adjacent Mag Brook. And so, the pond was created albeit looking quite bare of vegetation etc. During the next couple of months, the pond nearly dried out due to evaporation and limited rainfall. Some wetland wildflower seeds were planted but then heavy persistent rainfall virtually wiped these out – but the pond was full again! Some marginal pond plants were placed around the pond and some of these have done very well. So, during the course of last year the pond gradually became established and won the approval of local residents. It certainly did the job we wanted of gathering water from the slope into the pond rather than the area becoming a temporary flooded area of grassland during times of heavy rain.
This year has seen how the pond attracts wildlife. The frogs and toads gravitated to the pond in early March and there were soon large amounts of frogspawn leading to large numbers of tadpoles. This has really attracted young children to the pond as well as other wildlife, notably a heron looking for an easy meal. Although the pond was designed to potentially dry out during the summer we have had to pump water in again to ensure the last remaining tadpoles can mature, so I think this will be an annual event! Recently we also saw a newt in the pond as well and loss of damsel flies and dragonflies.
In summary the project has been a real success in creating a different environment on Magdale. It has sparked considerable interest with those who make recreational use of the area and in particular it has generated an interest in wildlife and their habitats with young people