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Draining land in Ireland

 
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I have just moved onto 4 and a half acres of sloping, clay land. The ground is saturated most of the year and in winter there is alot of surface water. 3 and a half acres is made into 3 paddocks with a track around the perimeter where my 3 ponies graze. The other acre has the house, an orchard, an ornamental garden, a vegetable garden and a soft fruit garden. I was thinking to create large, shallow catchment areas in the centre of each paddock to stop the water from running down to the acre around the house. These will dry out in summer (hopefully). Does anyone have any other suggestions?
 
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Swales?

Make them deep ponds for watering the livestock?

Where does the water go after it comes down by the house? Does it keep going off property or is that the low spot?
 
Carole York
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R Scott wrote:Swales?

Make them deep ponds for watering the livestock?

Where does the water go after it comes down by the house? Does it keep going off property or is that the low spot?



The house is in the middle of the propertythe water comes down off the top paddock onto the lawn and through the orchard to the bottom corner where it stays until spring when it drains away onto the next property. It also flows off the top paddock across the driveway into the second paddock opposite which gets really boggy. Some of that water flows into a drain running alongside the boundary. The water in the bottom paddock behind the house flows straight into the stable (!) and also to the bottom corner
 
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Location: Northern Italy
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The goal is to keep water on your site as long as possible. Spread water out, sink it via swales or deep ripping, shade it with something, grow something on it. Spread, sink, shade, grow.

As for your situation, which is very analogous to mine, I would suggest finding the lowest part where water naturally collects and put a pond in, even if it's shallow, doesn't matter. My ponds are empty in the summer, but I would assume that when there are a lot more trees in the area the pond might stay wet for longer. For now I have a winter pond and am trying to do the best I can with that. If you have pigs you can have them make the ponds for you for free.

My pond doesn't exceed more than 1 meter of depth, and the mounded soil (good for hugelkulture) below the pond helps make sure that water stays inside.

I've made these ponds before and had good results. I turned a sometimes soggy and swampy area into a small pond and the surrounding area got a lot dryer. I'm planning on doing it again on a larger scale.

I pump that water into storage in the winter and in the spring and fall I can water directly from the pond, which eases the pressure on my water storage.

If you can find clumping grass, dig it out and plant it around it, as this helps stabilize the borders and creates a nice effect.

You can also put in swales above the ponds to help spread the water out before it gets to your low area. I see in my land the tendency for water to move in one specific direction that is not beneficial. Any time you can change that tendency via earthworks or by ripping or plowing on contour, you can have various gains.

There's also the idea of a deeper pond with rock-then-soil backfill and a pipe to harvest water from, kinda like a mini-well if you have the materials.

Hope this helps.
William
 
Carole York
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Thankyou William, yes, that was very helpful.
 
William James
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You could use a bunyip or when it rains and you have some standing water, go out with a tape measure and find the deepest point. That's where you put the pond. The last one was 1 meter deep and about 3 meters square, and I did it by hand. This time they'll be 2 twice the size and an excavator will be doing all the digging.
W
 
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