A New Wildlife Pond (Finished...at last)

Hi folks. My newest project is building a Wildlife Pond in the garden so I thought it might be fun to document the progress as I go about this. I realise that this should maybe have been started a bit earlier in the year but better late than never I suppose. We’ve been thinking about a pond for a while now but the only place we can really put it is quite close to some trees down the left hand side of our garden. I think this may raise some concerns with the root system puncturing the pond liner but I’m thinking if I can line the pond with maybe a thick piece of old carpet, sand and pond liner insulation, thing should be fine. The trees that are close to where the pond is going are conifer types so aren’t actually too deep rooted. I’m also considering building a small Hibernacula next to the pond in the hope that this may encourage Frogs and Toads to take up residence here. The pond itself is not going to have any pumps or filter systems, I’ll be relying on the correct plants and creepy-crawlies to carry out the task of keeping the water clean and oxygenated. I’ve been looking at a lot of other threads on here in regards to other peoples Wildlife Ponds so I’m hoping that I may get some good advice along the way, this is all new to me so any and all suggestions and help would be very much appreciated. There are another few issues in regards to the slope of the garden but I’ll get to these as we go along. The first step was to decide on the size and shape of the pond which wasn’t as easy as it may sound. I didn’t want a rectangular pond nor did I fancy a teardrop shaped pond. After about an hour or so of messing around with a hosepipe on the ground, we decided on the shape that you can see in this first photo.

Once this had been decided upon, the first cut went in...

And the job of removing the turf began...

I've been doing most of the work in the evening after I come home from work and I managed to capture this sunset at the end of the first night.

This next photo shows the area where the pond is going to be, taken from the upstairs window in the house.

The roots from the trees are actually quite small and shallow so hopefully things should be fine in regards to this. I suspect that the further down I dig, the less roots I'll come across.

Anyone who's taken turfs off a lawn will know that it's actually quite hard work, they're much heavier than they look to be.!!

I'll maybe add some photos of the birds that visit the garden as well, like this male Blackbird. I've been spoiling him a bit by feeding him pastry and now when I go out into the garden he almost always appears and follows me around until I've given him his pastry fix. On the upside, he comes really close to me at times, within a foot or so although I always throw the pastry balls into the middle of the lawn in case any of my cats are lurking around. I saw him feeding a youngster the other week but I haven't seen the youngster since. He always takes the first load of pastry away, then returns and eats the second lot himself.!!

At last, the turfs are all removed.

The pond doesn't actually look as if it'll be too large and I know that it'll 'come in' a bit once it's planted up, but when you look at the area that the removed turfs cover, I think the entire surface area is in the region of sixty square feet. I've laid the turfs aside for now as I'm still not sure if I maybe need some of them during the build.

I do actually have the basic outlines of a plan for all of this. I've made this up on the PC as I didn't really want to show off too much with my excepionally neat handwriting....!! Like all plans though, it may change as time goes on.!!

As you can see from the plan, the shape of the pond on the left hand side is also to accomodate the Hibrenacula, plus I need access down that side for trimming the trees now and again. You'll have noticed that I intend to put a wall at the bottom end of the pond although this is only going to be a few inches high. I still have lots of stones left from my recent wall building project as you can see from this next photo. I have plans to use a lot of the stones in the pond but more about that later.

I thought ity would maybe be fun to have a wander round the garden at times so I'll start off with a wee look at what's going on in the Greenhouse at the mpment. Mrs A has been gathering bedding plants as you can see from the next few photos.

A few more...

She's also got four hanging baskets planted up although they've still to be hardened off before being put uot at the start of June maybe.

The first two...

And another two....

The only thing that I have in the Greenhouse at the moment are these Carrots. (Ignore the scruffy handwriting, a deranged five year old child must have snuck in, erased my perfect handwriting and replaced it with his own).!!

Whilst we're on the subject of vegetables, I've got a few things going on in containers and bags. From left to right at the back we have five bags of Potatoes, Mint, Rosemary, and a stone container with Herbs in it. I know there's Chives, Parsley, Thyme,Fennel and a few other things that escape me at the moment. In the containers at the front from left to right we have Peas, Spring Onions (which I've only put into half of the container, the other half I'll sow in maybe a month's time), Onions and Cabbages. I'll maybe keep you posted on the progress of these as the Pond build goes on.

Speaking of the Pond, I've begun the process of digging it out.

I'm starting off by going down to around one foot in depth althought this won't apply to all the way round as I intend to have a few gradual slopes going into the water. I'll dig a one foot deep shelf all around the back of the pond (the edge furthest away from the path). The soil was actually quite dry so the digging hasn't been too difficult (so far).!!

And a bit more progress...

A few more birds have been in the garden as all this is going on, like this handsome Jackdaw....

And one of the first young Starlings to appear although their numbers are starting to take off now.!!

A quick dash out to the front of the house now to show you this Lilac tree/bush in the front garden.

And what may be my first ever sighting of an Orange Tip Butterfy? Mrs A spotted it.!!

Since I'm still on the subject of plants, here are one or two others which are starting to come out at the moment. This Aquilegia has started to show (I think that this may be one that I grew from seed last year but I'm not 100% sure of this).

I've no idea what this is.!! It's really pretty though.

Getting back to the pond again, one issue that I have is that the garden slopes away the further down you go. This next diagram shows the difference from one end of the pond to the other.

This leaves me with what I think may be two possibilities. I could build up the surronding area of the pond to have the wall at the far end raised about eight inches as is shown in the next diagram.

The problem I have with this idea is that the new wall that I built recently would be hidden from view along the front of the flower bed when viewed from up the garden. The front of the new wall is only around four inches high. I think I may have decided to raise the wall at the end of the pond to around two inches and then when digging back to the other end I'll actually sink the pond's maximum level around six inches into the ground, if you follow my meaning. The next diagram may help explain this a bit better.

You can see in the diagram where the Hibernacula is possibly going to fit into all of this but more about that another time I think. I've got a few summer/autumn flowering Heathers to plant on the Hibernacula as you can see from this next photo.

As you can see from this next photo, the weather got quite wet for a few days.

This led me to erect a small Gazebo above the pond area, after all, I'm not quite ready to have it filled with water yet.!!

The final photo of this particular post shows the progress made to date. I'm not hopefull that too much will be achieved in the next week as I've come down with a stinker of a cold and I'm also on holiday for a week and had two or three days out planned. (The stones in the hole are just in case a Hedgehog manages to fall in, allowing it to get back out more easily).!!

Thank you if you've read all of this and I'll update it once more progress has been made. I do know that I still have drainage/overflow issues to look at but I have a basic plan for that as well. Until the next time, I hope you've enjoyed.

Paul

Parents
  • Paul A said:

    Hi folks. My newest project is building a Wildlife Pond in the garden so I thought it might be fun to document the progress as I go about this. I realise that this should maybe have been started a bit earlier in the year but better late than never I suppose. We’ve been thinking about a pond for a while now but the only place we can really put it is quite close to some trees down the left hand side of our garden. I think this may raise some concerns with the root system puncturing the pond liner but I’m thinking if I can line the pond with maybe a thick piece of old carpet, sand and pond liner insulation, thing should be fine. The trees that are close to where the pond is going are conifer types so aren’t actually too deep rooted. I’m also considering building a small Hibernacula next to the pond in the hope that this may encourage Frogs and Toads to take up residence here. The pond itself is not going to have any pumps or filter systems, I’ll be relying on the correct plants and creepy-crawlies to carry out the task of keeping the water clean and oxygenated. I’ve been looking at a lot of other threads on here in regards to other peoples Wildlife Ponds so I’m hoping that I may get some good advice along the way, this is all new to me so any and all suggestions and help would be very much appreciated. There are another few issues in regards to the slope of the garden but I’ll get to these as we go along. The first step was to decide on the size and shape of the pond which wasn’t as easy as it may sound. I didn’t want a rectangular pond nor did I fancy a teardrop shaped pond. After about an hour or so of messing around with a hosepipe on the ground, we decided on the shape that you can see in this first photo.

    Thank you if you've read all of this and I'll update it once more progress has been made. I do know that I still have drainage/overflow issues to look at but I have a basic plan for that as well. Until the next time, I hope you've enjoyed.

    Paul

    Paul,

    You may recall sharing this link with me some time back, believe it or not, I've finally finished reading what is actually a very interesting and well planned project, and thank you for sharing it.

    Our pond is only a fraction of the size at 292 litres full, and crude dimensions 0.5mtrs deep, 0.5mtrs across and about 1.2 mts long, using a moulded liner, but just as much planning, and tweaking to the plans went in to place.

    I hope you're still getting enjoyment from your pond, I know we are, and I'm eagerly awaiting the warmer days when I can sit along side it again, watching swim about their business and other wildlife that choses to inhabit our garden.

Reply
  • Paul A said:

    Hi folks. My newest project is building a Wildlife Pond in the garden so I thought it might be fun to document the progress as I go about this. I realise that this should maybe have been started a bit earlier in the year but better late than never I suppose. We’ve been thinking about a pond for a while now but the only place we can really put it is quite close to some trees down the left hand side of our garden. I think this may raise some concerns with the root system puncturing the pond liner but I’m thinking if I can line the pond with maybe a thick piece of old carpet, sand and pond liner insulation, thing should be fine. The trees that are close to where the pond is going are conifer types so aren’t actually too deep rooted. I’m also considering building a small Hibernacula next to the pond in the hope that this may encourage Frogs and Toads to take up residence here. The pond itself is not going to have any pumps or filter systems, I’ll be relying on the correct plants and creepy-crawlies to carry out the task of keeping the water clean and oxygenated. I’ve been looking at a lot of other threads on here in regards to other peoples Wildlife Ponds so I’m hoping that I may get some good advice along the way, this is all new to me so any and all suggestions and help would be very much appreciated. There are another few issues in regards to the slope of the garden but I’ll get to these as we go along. The first step was to decide on the size and shape of the pond which wasn’t as easy as it may sound. I didn’t want a rectangular pond nor did I fancy a teardrop shaped pond. After about an hour or so of messing around with a hosepipe on the ground, we decided on the shape that you can see in this first photo.

    Thank you if you've read all of this and I'll update it once more progress has been made. I do know that I still have drainage/overflow issues to look at but I have a basic plan for that as well. Until the next time, I hope you've enjoyed.

    Paul

    Paul,

    You may recall sharing this link with me some time back, believe it or not, I've finally finished reading what is actually a very interesting and well planned project, and thank you for sharing it.

    Our pond is only a fraction of the size at 292 litres full, and crude dimensions 0.5mtrs deep, 0.5mtrs across and about 1.2 mts long, using a moulded liner, but just as much planning, and tweaking to the plans went in to place.

    I hope you're still getting enjoyment from your pond, I know we are, and I'm eagerly awaiting the warmer days when I can sit along side it again, watching swim about their business and other wildlife that choses to inhabit our garden.

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