When I built the new Wykeham House in Hiltingbury I got the digger driver to dig out a large pond in the back garden, piling the spoil at one end in readiness to make a waterfall. This was the basis for our landscaping, planting and stocking once the lining and filtration system were in place. The day at last came when we flicked the switch and the water gushed and eddied down the waterfall. This comforting sound has stayed with us for the past fifteen years and it is a joy. When the water had cleared and the balance was right we stocked our pond with twenty golden rudd, some green tench, three black comets and three shubunkin – and the odd goldfish contributed by neighbours.
Over the years, and thanks to the early morning visits from a hungry heron, we lost some fish – usually speared and left on the grass – so we had to find an ingenious way of heron-proofing the pond. At first, we didn’t mind the heron’s visits; seeing that majestic bird landing and taking off was exciting but he was greedy and cruel and had to be deterred. We strung fishing line across the pond and installed a water sprayer triggered by a motion sensor. So far, so effective………..
Every early summer there are a few days of frantic activity when the water froths like a cauldron and a month or so later a large shoal of small fry of mixed variety can be spotted and, over the years the fish population has multiplied alarmingly. [Read more…] about A Daily Visit by Royalty – and a Sumptuous Meal for a King