Pond creation for enhanced water quality for Piquet Hill Farms

Clean Steams Consultants were contacted by Piquet Hill Farms Ltd regarding pond creation. The aim of this project was to provide Piquet Hill Farms Ltd with methodology to enhance water quality and select native plant species to attract waterfowl habitation at several ponds on site.

These two ponds were the first in the creation of a further 8 ponds in the following 8 years.

Due to budget constraints research was predominantly desk based. The historical land use has been for sheep and beef due to the surrounding steep hill country. There was little to no vegetation other than pasture grasses. The lack of diverse plant assemblages, steep hill country and livestock grazing indicated high risk of sediment and nutrient loading into the ponds. The main purpose of attracting additional waterfowl also increased the issue of the ponds going eutrophic.

With these factors assessed Clean Streams Consultants selected native plants that would stabilise pond margins, attract waterfowl and provide additional habitat, intercept excess nutrients and trap sediment before entering the ponds. The planting concept had been designed to achieve rapid canopy closure in order to provide the maximum benefit to the ponds and the surrounding environment. Enrichment species were included in the species list to provide biodiversity within the planting and also create additional ecological niches.