New wildlife pond at our retreat

At the bottom of our field, away from the house and garden, we had an overgrown pond that was full of silt. Last autumn we cleared the area and have taken 10 or more feet of silt out of the pond (with the help of a couple of large diggers!) so it is back to it’s original size and depth, naturally clay lined, when it was hand dug out a few hundred years ago. Can you spot me standing in the clay bottom of the pond?

It will organically fill with rainwater over the winter and will hopefully attract lots of wildlife. To attract the birds we have mallard nesting boxes and owl boxes (not too close to the water) nearby and we have added some oxygenating water lilies which will hopefully spread out and have beautiful flowers.

It is a very peaceful & beautiful spot so we are putting a seating area in for mindfulness and quiet times (one of our retreat guests has already suggested writing poetry down there) or perhaps for a cheeky evening sundowner!

Mindfulness can take many guises it doesn’t only have to be meditation with your eyes closed. Just sitting quietly keeping your mind in the present, looking around you, listening to the sounds and feeling the air will make you feel calmer and relaxed. It is taking a moment or several minutes to appreciate your surroundings which takes your mind off worrying about the past or the future.

A quote that I really think rings true and I use it often is by Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese Taoist philosopher, states: “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”