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Friday, 29 May 2009

Wed 27th May 2009 - Osborne Middle School, Cowes

Well it finally rained on the Green Gym this week (a very rare occurrence), on our visit to Osborne Middle School in Cowes. Pupils and staff here are very keen on environmental issues, even having a PhotoVoltaic (PV) panel on their roof; today we were making them a new garden pond. The JCB had been in the previous day to dig the hole, the site of which had to be changed from the original one, as some electrical cables were found underground. Our first task was to move the large pile of soil excavated by the JCB, keeping aside some large stones for the pond; and it is hoped this bed will be planted out with flowers..

Next we made some small alterations to the depth and shape of the pond to improve it for any visiting wildlife, put some turf in to flatten out the bottom, followed by some old pieces of carpet. Next came the thin lining, the very thick pond lining , then another thin lining. These were held down with the stones we removed from the pile and some slabs to ensure the lining does not blow away before the pond fills up; we also put a few buckets of water in the pond to start it off. It is intended to run off from the nearest drainpipe, so the pond can fill naturally with rainwater. Our final task was to erect a fence around the pond which was quite tricky, as there were undergound pipes near some of the edges. While were were making the pond, a female duck made a brief visit (see picture), obviously checking it out for the future!
Many thanks to Carrie for the editorial and photographs.

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