The past month has brought frequent and sometimes flash rains.‡ The cumulative effect of which has been to fill up the three new ponds in the park to (literally) overflowing, just a week or two after their excavation.
The spoil from excavating the ponds is heaped up around the edges and will next year no doubt explode into colour after spring seeding. The local dogs (Perivale Park has many regular dog walkers!) have already been observed frolicking in the ponds and no doubt their owners are having to contemplate baths for their dogs when they return home. The current rainwater, runoff from the local streets and the rest of the park, has not yet been purified by the aquatic vegetation which will no doubt come to the ponds.
Pond 1 was sculpted yesterday by a contractor to ensure that the first metre or so of the pond from the edge is shallow. A few decades ago, most ponds in the neighbourhood were surrounded by rickety wooden fences as a safety measure to avoid accidents. The modern thinking appears to be that no fence is needed if the pond has a very shallow approach.
We can now start to play guessing games, such as how many months of the year will the ponds have water next year. The stream that feeds these ponds actually runs well, with water around 10 months of the year. But these ponds are not lined and so depend to some extent for their water on the depth of the water table. The much larger ponds in the adjacent meadows are indeed now being lined, and we might expect them to have water all year around. This also depends on the flow of the stream feeding them. I will show photos of these ponds shortly.
‡Although the local water company has just informed us that we are “now in drought” and that they “may need to introduce water restrictions (also known as a hosepipe ban) in spring 2020.”