Since 2019, Loaris has had an artificial pond. For what purposes was this pond created and how do we take care of this precious ecosystem?
The creation of biodiversity
To begin with, the Loaris pond is not covered, the water is retained by the soil, which is very clayey and therefore sufficient to retain it for part of the year. In 2020, the pond even overflowed due to heavy spring rains; a drain pipe had to be installed because the water had covered the orchard and crops. The pond hosted a bit of biodiversity this year, notably wild ducks and dragonflies, but being located in the hens and geese enclosure, biodiversity did not colonize this pond. The pond ended up completely drying up in August 2020 due to the heat wave and the summer drought.
The drying up of a pond is normal and classic in times of drought, this is in no way catastrophic since the rainy episodes from September will restore the pond to water. The longer the pond remains in water, the better it is for the fauna and flora.
We thought about how to make biodiversity settle in our pond. Indeed, this ecosystem is very important for the garden because it provides a living space for wildlife (newts, frogs, toads, dragonflies, water spiders...). These same living beings that we must preserve and which are also very useful for the natural regulation of gastropods (among others) which often swarm near crops (and which eat them). The presence of vegetation also favors the water retention capacity of the pond and, as said before, the longer the water is present, the better it is for biodiversity. The pond is also an aesthetic place which, in addition to being an observatory, for lovers/curious about nature, brings a bit of freshness.
The "Mare de Bourgogne network" program
We contacted the S.H.N.A. (Société Histoire Naturelle d'Autun) which offers a "Réseau Mare de Bourgogne" program aimed at advising pond owners on how to conserve these ecosystems. Lisa, our advisor, came to Loaris and we discussed garden projects, aquatic animals and plants, but above all how we could improve the presence of biodiversity in our place.
Two dark spots hang over the Loaris pond, however. The first and most impacting is that chickens and geese are voracious, which complicates the task of establishing plants. The decision was quickly made to create a new enclosure for the animals. After a few weeks of reflection and work, they no longer have access to the pond: phew! The frogs will be able to settle down.
The second point is the banks of our pond, which are quite steep in places. Vegetation needs soft banks to take hold. However, if there is no vegetation, there is no habitat/hiding place and therefore few species will visit the pond. For this second point, we are going to let time take its course while trying to soften some of the slopes. We will observe how the fauna and flora behave in 2021 and we will advise on this point.
To return to the "Réseau mare de Bourgogne" program, we have signed an agreement with the S.H.N.A.We are committed to:
- Maintain the existing pond: do not fill it and maintain it
- Do not introduce fish and remove existing ones: there are none in Loaris
- Prohibit the use of pesticides in the pond and on the banks: that has never been the case in Loaris either
We intend to keep our commitments and help create an oasis of wild biodiversity in the heart of Loaris!
Next year's plan for the pond:
- Find local plant species to plant in Loaris, preferably in ponds also participating in the program
- Observe the evolution of the pond
- Take beautiful photos of the fauna and provide information on the species found in Loaris on the Bourgogne Base Fauna website (E-Observation Tool) in order to participate in the census of wild species in Bourgogne
So here's another great project to follow on Loaris and we'll be sure to let you know how our pond is progressing.