A Gentle Nudge
Whether a larger pond, lake, leat, river or floodplain has been man-made or naturally occurring, they should be a well balanced ecosystem, although on many occasions this isn’t the case as there is a very fine line between the two. Each body of water is unique with an array of different factors affecting its delicate state; some are easier to control than others.
All About Sediment
Unfortunately the traditional ideas of creating a pond are much out-of-date and are doomed to fail, on far too many occasions we have seen large man-made lakes where soil has been put back on top of the liner! Yes, it may seem natural but all soil types are full of lovely nutrients and other elements that cause havoc for an aquatic ecosystem, and in turn feed algae blooms and suspended solids issues. This can easily be avoided by using an inert medium to allow a balanced ecosystem to develop.
Sediment loads increase over the course of time which subsequently lead to the unavoidable, invasive and expensive process of dredging! Not to mention that the build up of this sediment in certain areas can contain heavy metals, chemical build ups and other nasty pollutants further increasing the costs for correct disposal.
Sometimes a deep clean is the best way to help nature rebalance before adding the right systems for you to prevent this from happening again in the future.
How we can help
Each project is unique and there is rarely a quick fix. Instead we will help you to create a plan of how to protect and maintain your large body of water in a way that suits you and your budget. We often create phased plans that may span several years in order to gently nudge nature into resolving her own issues with minimal intervention.
By working alongside your pond's natural processes, we can gently enable the balance to gradually reinstate itself. This is perfect for large ponds or lakes, natural rivers, leats and floodplains. Below are some of the common approaches that we take to large pond and lake management.
We find that aeration is the most undervalued aspect of a successfully flourishing larger pond or lake. However, aerating a large waterscape is crucial to a balanced ecosystem which in turn, creates the clean and clear waters we find so beautiful. Aerators come in many forms; they can be air stones that create micro-bubbles at the surface, large fountains that spit water metres into the air or tumbling streams, all are beneficial to larger systems.
The beneficial bacteria that balance an aquatic ecosystem need good oxygenation and circulation for high-quality growth, consequently breaking down the organic waste at the bottom of the lake at a more successful rate. The abundance of beneficial bacteria inhibits the growth rates of algae, leads to cleaner and clearer water, and of course increases the overall health of the ecosystem for all aquatic life.
Adapting the Vegetation
Often invasive plants have moved in, crowding out the light for other advantageous species such as iris which encourage much of our native wildlife. With a mixture of cutting back, pruning and weed suppressant, we can remove overshaded areas creating the dappled light for our spot planting or wildflower turfing to thrive in.
Adding Beneficial Bacteria
Adding A Stream
Streams play an important part in nature, cleaning and filtering large bodies of water. This is why areas with many streams such as the Alps, Dartmoor and The Lake District have such crystal clear water.
Water bouncing down rocky streams naturally oxygenates the water meaning that anaerobic (without oxygen) processes are inhibited which cause inefficient breakdowns of organic matter leading to silt, as well as food for invasive plants such as blanketweed and algae.
Streams also naturally trap sediment that is carried within the water meaning that it gently filters the water every time it passes through, slowly cleaning the main body of water. Over time, the stream will fill up with sediment and will need cleaning out, however, we can use this to our advantage as we now have all the silt within easy reach. This is much easier and a fraction of the cost of a large dredging operation. This is where we are working with nature, not against it!
Adding A Constructed Wetland Filtration System
Our wetlands act as the kidneys of the system, cleaning and oxygenising the water to keep the water quality and clarity pristine. They capture and remove sediment, toxic metals, chemical and hydrocarbons and are capable of filtering out 96% of nitrites and 97% of phosphates found in polluted water!
The water rises through the different layers of filtrations, creating a high surface area on which beneficial bacteria can thrive on the organic waste which they eat, creating oxygen rich water as a by-product. This oxygenated water keeps anaerobic bacteria, such as those that create blanket weed, to a minimum. Plants with high nitrogen creating roots are planted to further enhance the clarity of the water whilst also creating perfect homes for bees and dragonflies.
Maintenance is easy with its specialist access vault meaning that the whole system can be cleaned unobtrusively to bring it back to full functionality without dredging or costly intervention.
These are then easily connected via a stream and waterfalls to larger bodies of water such as Larger Ponds and Lakes, Natural Swimming Ponds, Contemporary Water Features or Koi Pools.
If you want to learn more about the science behind a wetland, you can read our blog here.
What Makes Large Pond and Lake Enhancements Great?
Working with Nature
We use naturally occurring processes to our advantage to gently clean and aerate the water, resolving most issues. We can also naturally help with localised flooding (permits allowing), bank erosion and habitat improvement.
Long Term Planning
We often create phased plans that may span several years in order to gently nudge nature into resolving her own issues with minimal intervention.
We are happy to guide and support you within your own budget and timescales.
An Enjoyable Space
We want to make this a space for you too, although we work to balance nature, we also want it to be an enjoyable space for you to relax at the end of a day, watching the myriad of life that will call this place home.
Let's get started
Looking to get started? Fantastic, we just need a few details from you.
Please use our form below to give us as much information as you can about your project so that we can come back to you with the best way to create your dream water feature. Our form will request some recent photographs of your feature, the size and any relevant information such as type of pumps, date of last clean etc. so you will need to have these to hand before you start.
We strive to get in touch within five business days. But please bear with us if it takes us a little longer. We thank you for your patience while we are out making someone’s back garden beautiful! Yours could be next!