I guess I should point out that whilst moving an A frame made from lengths of bamboo tied with bailing twine, with an old padlock hanging as a string line did have an air of idiocy about it . I was quite pessimistic as to how successful I was going to be, not because I didn’t trust the process, rather I didn’t trust the process with my brain.
With A frame in hand & little white flags on wire as markers & looking at the lay of the land, according to my crude resemblance of an A frame, I thought for sure I had it wrong, with reckless abandonment I picked & mattocked & spaded & built berms, oh my goodness ! I picked & mattocked & built berms oh my! I picked & mattocked & built berms oh my! there were actually berm like structures curving their way around following the line of my little white flags (word of warning while little white flags might look great getting them into the ground required beating them with whatever rock or broken brick I could find only to have the wire bend the ground was just to hard, so i will forget them & find another way) amazing & as I was eyeing my depth of swale & levelness for possible water flow & height of my berms, I could see that yes it was looking great, just like I had studied up on.
See it does not require loads of money or machinery, would it have been easier ? yes sure! but I think the satisfaction of looking at all the work complete & knowing that with every part of your being muscles, emotions, thoughts you have done it all, you can do it all.
Sorry the photos aren’t too clear but you can see the green that is coming up between berms even where there are a spreading of trees (there is no need to decimate land for fodder). The second photo you can just make out the ridges of berms, I will be posting more photos as it has been a couple of years since these were taken.
Having had several (not many) deluges of rain it all still stays & the water crystal clear gently ebbs into the dam.