Work on restoration of the Pond and Rill at Homeyards Botanical Gardens is finally underway. The work, funded by Investing in Devon, involves bringing water and electricity into the Gardens and is employing specialist firm Aquascapes to inspect and repair the ponds and rill and create a pumped circulating water system DSC_0108up a steep rise of about 12m.

For many years this water feature was neglected and became overgrown but the Friends of Shaldon Botanical Gardens, on a succession of Volunteer Work Days, have gradually cleared the area to reveal the rill with its 3 smaller ponds, paths, bridges and rockeries. The quality of workmanship in the stonework has impressed all who have looked over the system and is testament to the planning of landscape designer William Sears and the teams of workers who hauled the stones into place in the early 1930’s.

This has been the ideal time of year to work on the ponds and surrounding area, before the weather gets too cold and frogs, newts and toads start hibernating. With all the clearance that has gone on they won’t find this area quite as leafy as usual and will have to look for other spots nearby. However, in spring 2010, with the restoration complete, the Friends plan to help the Teignbridge Green Spaces department implement an easily managed planting scheme for the area. The final Volunteer Sunday of the year on 13th December is time for the annual pond clearance session. Come along between 10am and 3pm, gloves, wellies, pond dipping equipment, and bring along a potato or two wrapped in foil – we’ll get a bonfire going.


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