Pond construction – update 2
Having scrubbed the pond liners clean the next stage was to actually fix them to the wooden frames. This was a big job and it took us a little time to work out the best method of actually doing it. We did one prototype pond and decided that simply attaching the liner to the frame resulted in large folds in each of the corners (good hiding places for mountain chickens and/or their food). So, we painstakingly set about cutting the liner at each of the corners and taking out a triangle of excess liner.
We had a lot of help from the Forestry guys (who have been involved with the mountain chickens from the start) – by the middle of the day we were flying through the ponds, about one every 45 minutes.
It took two days in all to fit the liner onto the ponds, and then another two to staple up every single gap, and to attach sleeves to the tops of the frame legs as well. We did this to ensure the frogs would not come into contact with any of the wooden frame because wood can harbour microbes and produce splinters, which could affect the frogs’ health whilst in the temporary facility. I’m not sure how many staples we staple gunned over these few days but it must have been over 5000.
So by the final hour of the final day before the arrival of Gerardo Garcia (head of Herpetology at Durrell), the floor of the holding facility was given a last sweep and off to the airport we went to pick him up and get his verdict on the ponds. They were a great success which was brilliant after so many days of hard work and blisters! The frogs deserve the best ponds possible after their long journey, and I think we’ve given them that for sure in less than a week.
– Isabel Jones