Radensko polje is a karst field that fills with water during heavy rainfall. Water slowly drains away for several days afterwards. For pond creation we needed heavier machinery. We had to choose the time when the field was frozen or dry. The result of rainfall is the inaccessibility of the area for mechanization and excessive wetness of the terrain for excavation. This year we had a lot of rain, so we were digging the ponds for several months. We started in February, when the meadows were still covered by frozen snow. At that time, we created 11 ponds.

After a wet spring, we only managed to start digging again at the end of June. At the end of June and beginning of July, we created 14 ponds. Shortly after the last created pond, heavy rains began, which caused a lot of damage in many parts of Slovenia. At that time, Radensko polje was largely flooded and access to the field was only possible by boat.

All summer we hoped for at least a week or so of dry weather, but unfortunately we were not lucky. However, autumn was surprising, as it turned out to be quite dry compared to summer. Fortunately, we were able to create the last 15 ponds in October. With this, we have completed the creation of all 40 planned ponds on Radensko polje.

Before the excavation, we marked the boundaries of the ponds with stakes. Based on the slopes of the surrounding terrain, we decided where the deepest part of the pond would be. During the actual excavation, we paid attention to the slopes of the banks and the foundation. The foundation was different from pond to pond. The easiest to dig was if the ground was pure clay and moist. At times, water had already begun to flow into the ponds during the digging process. In the last pond, the base was the softest, as the clay was mixed with the organic remains of wooden parts of plants. This made the work of our contractor quite difficult, he quickly started to sink into the foundation.

We hope that by the next spring, the ponds will be filled with water so that the amphibians can use them for reproduction. In the following years, we will carry out monitoring of amphibians and monitor the overgrowth. We will ensure that invasive plant species do not appear around the ponds.

Photo: P. Golob