Updated 13 Jun 2013

The Scrape

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The Scrape

The "Scrape" is a shallow pond 8.5m x 3.3m holding about 7,000 litres of water. It is placed next to the Nursery and close to the Well. Often above groundwater and potentially losing water by leakage, it has a double liner and is filled from the Well when evaporation or transpiration lowers the water level below 25 cms. First dug and filled in 2006, by 2009 it sported grass and flowers, dragonflies, minnows, newts, diving beetles and frogs. See an earlier description of the Scrape

1717 The scrape 3 years old, with plastic heron, 3 plastic mallards, ragged robin, cotton grass and other flowers. 22may2009

X049a Rosie puddling in cold weather. mar2006
X049c Cutting sods from side and puddling. 3may2006
X049d Replacing 131 sods to hold down new liner, and starting to fill. 11may2006
X049b The scrape after 5 months aug2006
0215 26oct2007
0430 03dec2007
0900 27may2008
1413 03feb2009
1714 20may2009
1715 22may2009

    Scrape Diary


    08 Jun. Cut the grass on 3 sides of the scrape.
    06 Jun. Made a skimmer to skim skin off scrape surface. Put about 1,000 litres of water into scrape, as weather is dry. Empty dragonfly nymph case found in scrape. (scrape was only built Feb 06, so nymph must have been trasferred from Well).
    28 May. After 42mm rain in 2 days, river rising rapidly, and scrape has risen 4 cms.
    14 May. scrape full at 29 cms.
    04 May. Found snails, tadpoles, nymphs and newts, all put in scrape.
    16 Apr. Put up a pair of (real) Mallards on the scrape.
    03 Apr. Nearly backed car into scrape, so erected a corner post.
    09 Mar. Tadpoles hatching in the scrape.
    23 Feb. Gravelled some muddy areas around the scrape.
    21 Feb. Saw 5 more newts in scrape.
    20 Feb. Collected frogspawn from Pamphill and put it in our scrape, where we also saw a newt.
    5 Feb. Filled the scrape for the first time in 2 months.


    27 Nov. The Plantation is very soggy, scrape water is brown not clear, every oak stands in a little pond.
    09 Nov. Moved a large pink Lewissian Gneiss to middle of scrape.
    08 Nov. Transferred 5 large and 5 small Lewissian Gneiss beach boulders from corner of scrape (where they could not be seen) to centre.
    07 Nov. Rope in scrape removed, divided, refixed with screweyes. Now looks neat, like rope around rectangular boxing ring.
    06 Nov. Rosie sieved a lot of topsoil, while I added two ropes to scrape interior surface.
    29 Oct. Sat next to scrape, I had 3 red dragonflies on my right knee at the same time!
    20 Oct. Completed building the seat by the scrape, materials paid for by Stuart Flint of Wirksworth. Red dragonfly beat me being the first to sit on it!
    18 Oct. Using 6" Auger, drilled two 60 cm holes by side of scrape for seat legs. Hard work, tips: lubricate well with water, use many small bites, deposit direct in wheelbarrow.
    17 Oct. Bought window board from B+Q for a seat by scrape, and treated it with Cuprinol. Bought 10 small fence posts and 1 large post at SCATS and took to Plantation.
    12 Oct. Started drilling borehole next to scrape with 6" auger. Hard work, got down to 90 cms, through soil and clay, to where gravel starts.
    04 Oct. Ordered posthole auger to try and dig a borehole to supply the scrape with water.
    18 Sep. Cleared the scrape of blanket weed and uncovered dozens of water-boatmen and a couple of dragonfly nymphs. Got new bat detector and earphones working and discovered a loud singing at 26kHz located in well spoilheap grass which must have been grasshoppers.
    15 Sep. scrape full due to thundery rain on 9th Sep (29 mm in last 7 days).
    07 Sep. Topped up scrape and bath.
    26 Aug. Rosie pulled up orache round scrape.
    10 Aug. Erected Gazebo over bench and table by scrape.
    08 Aug. Ordered a bat detector as the scrape, pond, river, fields and plantation are swarming with insects.
    05 Aug. I took 3 large logs for use by the scrape, and to count the rings.
    27 Jul. Terribly hot. Topped up scrape and bath. Used cultivator hoe to get rid of a lot of hornwort in the pond. Watched dragonflies patrolling and laying in the sunshine.
    21 Jul. Finished building fixed seat and moveable table at W end of scrape.
    17 Jul. scrape needs 250 litres of water per day, most of this is lost by evaporation during heat of the day.
    12 Jul. Dragonflies and damselflies patrolling and laying in the scrape, most delightful sight.
    06 Jul. Placed 35 baskets with earth and water plants around edge of scrape.
    02 Jul. Fished river for small crustacia, placed in scrape. Hot weather, scrape water temperature reaches 30.
    29 Jun. Above ground syphon for scrape installed, previous underground syphon got blocked.
    19 Jun. Returned from 4 weeks holiday. scrape half empty, little rain here in last 4 weeks.
    20 May. Fitted a new scrape depth measurer.
    19 May. scrape level now constant at 24 cms, nominal volume is 6,732 litres.
    17 May. scrape now full, and heavy rain expected today.
    16 May. Pumped 800 litres of water into scrape, which is now nearly full. Lifted 2 low points of scrape perimeter by pushing soil under the liner.
    15 May. Pumped 1,000 litres of water into scrape.
    14 May. Pumped 1,000 litres of water into scrape.
    13 May. Another 1,000 litres of groundwater pumped.
    12 May. Another 1,000 litres of groundwater pumped into scrape by hand.
    11 May. Fitted two liners to scrape, each 4.5m x 10m. Liners so hot that grass was burned. 131 sods moved to hold down liners. 1,000 litres of water drawn from well and syphoned into scrape.
    10 May. Liner for scrape 12m x 9m arrived.
    03 May. Cut and stacked 131 large grass sods from the edge of the scrape, ready to hold the liner in place when fitted. Shoulders of scrape raised with soil from store. Syphoned scrape again, now practically dry.
    28 Apr. Removed island in scrape ready for fitting liner when it is nearly dry, hoping leakage will reduce from 500 to 10 litres/day.
    07 Apr. Water still being lost from the scrape by leakage, about 500 litres per day.
    06 Apr. A design fault in the syphon system to the scrape was noticed by Rosie and quickly corrected by me.
    30 Mar. scrape finally full of water, after a great deal of pumping and puddling. When 25 cms deep it holds 7,000 litres of water. It has an island in the middle, on which bog-loving wildflower seeds were scattered.
    20 Mar. The scrape completed, after 19 days of hard digging. About 8.5 x 3.3 metres and 30 cms deep. 800 sods removed, most placed on Munro with grass facing outwards, 8 layers and 2 metres high, each layer held together by wire cable until grass grows and binds sods together.
    02 Mar. Started building a "Munroe", or pyramid of sods from scrape.
    28 Feb. Used sods from scrape to build earth platform, on which old bath placed to give height to enable syphon action to fill scrape.
    23 Feb. Started digging the "scrape", a shallow pond sealed by existing grey clay and filled by syphon action from old bath, filled by pulley and bucket from watertable pond nearby.

Compiled, hand coded and copyright © 2013, John Palmer, All Rights Reserved.