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We decided to add a pond not only because they are excellent for wildlife but it is very wet here and the soil is shallow so bogs quickly and then dries out equally quickly.

What started as something relatively small quickly grew larger. I was digging out by hand but soon came across very large flagstones, bedrock. We managed to move one of them with brute force and some crowbars but only to the edge of the pond. Re-enforcements were called in and although Brian couldn't see why we were bothering, he was soon hooked once he realised there were big stones to be moved about. As it happens it was the first of many, not the biggest and I would have struggled to get any depth by hand. He also made light work of the digging generally which was wonderful. He did slightly damage his digger and also help an already collapsing stone wall collapse a little further, so extra impetus to get it fixed and a project to come.

We saved one frog while digging it out, so they are ready to go the moment we let them have it. The idea is growing and we are still coming up with ideas, such as a mini reedbed at the far end, a deep pit behind as the water running down hill won't be able to access the pond if lined. We will need to create shallow pond area behind the pond for a reedbed. Would also be great to have the shallow end of the main pond (the left of the photos) for birds to wash and drink, and also a muddy edge to attract and help Swallows, House Martins and Swifts. We onlt really have Swallows currently although I have seen a House Martin here once and Sand Martins have returned in recent years to the other side of the island. But a sand bank is probably taking things a little too far (I'll leave that to places like Minsmere).

So we will dig a deep hole at the far side, add a pump and a water feature to bring fresh water in from above (to try and stop it becoming stagnant and just end up being a place for the dreaded Scottish midge (the stuff of legends and nightmares).

We may also use one of the massive stones as a standing stone, we have a lot of archaeology up here and Rousay is known as the Egypt of the North, so it would be great to give a nod to Rousay's rich history. We won't be the first (new) islanders to do so.

We have many Cairns on Rousay and Orkney mainland has the world famous Brodgar standing stones, like Stonehenge, and also Skara Brae, an ancient neolithic village discovered when the sea cleared the sand.

Still filling up

We will keep up to date as the days go on!!

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