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How to build a pond?

I really want to organise/buy the materials I need to build a large pond in a field.  Please can anyone tell me how to do this or where I can locate a dummy guide?  I'd really like to buy the liner (that's all I know, and perhaps organise a mini digger?) as a Christmas present for my husband who has always wanted one.  TU!


  • I will watch this thread with interest as I am 'having' a large pond for Christmas.  

  • There are several "Pond" threads on the forum so it may be worth your while to have a look and see how what others have done.

    On a personal level, I undertook a similar project some years ago.

    Neighbour with a mini digger scooped out a large hole in the middle of the paddock.  I used the spoil to bank up the sides and create some shelves. The finished dimensions were approx 7 mts x 4 mts with a depth varying from 1 to 1.5 mts.

    I used a layer of sand to cover any stones, etc. before laying the liner - Butyl in this case but there are cheaper alternatives.  You can also use a sort of soft woven underlay instead of sand.  I've used this in my current pond with no problems.

    I started the pond in Spring and spent the following 12 months planting up around the pond and establishing the aquatic plants.

    The wildlife moved in pretty smartish and by the 2nd year, the pond looked as if it had always been there.  It was hard work at times but immensely satisfying.

    I wish you luck and hope your OH enjoys his extremely generous Christmas present image

  • We made a largish garden pond a few months ago.  We started in October 2017 and finished the planting around the edge and in the pond around May/June this year.  It was hard work and took a lot of planning, but the rewards are immeasurable.  I bought a few pond themed books, got some ideas from google and already had a few pre-formed ideas of how I wanted it to look. 

    But with all best laid plans we had to change a few of them as we went along.  Don't try to do it all in a weekend/week or two, it just isn't worth rushing if you want the end result to be pleasing not only to you but for wildlife too.

    Good luck.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 30,992

    Philippa has covered it pretty much. Be prepared for a lot of work, and since you're buying the liner first, make sure the hole doesn't end up too big for it....image

    The surrounds of the pond are as important as the pond itself.  Wildlife of all kinds needs cover nearby, so think about what you might want to put round it. 

    Pick your time carefully too. Nothing worse than starting and then being in the middle of a period of hard frost or a foot of snow. It will depend whereabouts in the country you are too image

    Good luck with it - take a bit of time to plan it, and then keep us updated, or come back and ask questions. Most people on the forum are very keen on ponds and wildlife. Take lots of photos of your progress too image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 875

    We recently made a largish wildlife  pond, approx 14m x 9m.  Here are some pictures of the work in progress. It was filled in late August.  I spent quite a lot on oxygenators to  keep it healthy over the winter and will plant it up in spring. Max depth is .75m.


    image   image

    We began towards the end of August and it took a couple of weeks.  Lots of work; we bought the liner from Bradshaws Direct.  Butyl would have been too expensive.  Bradshaws liner bought with their underlay came to less than half the price of butyl without the underlay and if you bought Bradshaws underlay as well it comes with a 25 year guarantee, they say. 

    Look on the RSPB and WWT pond making pages.  There is lots of good advice re plantings.  

  • I wouldn't order the liner before you've got the hole dug and you're happy with it - much better to dig the hole first, measure up carefully and order the correct size. Pond liner is expensive, especially for larger ponds, so you really don't want to end up with the wrong size.

    Also take a lot of care when digging to make sure the pond edge is truly level. Get it wrong and you can end up with a big expanse of sloping exposed liner - ponds like that look really, really stupid and are much more vulnerable to damage.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 30,992

    You're right Onopordum. We inherited a large pond at the last house which hadn't been properly levelled and had a 'wing' of liner on show all along the back edge. It would have been a bridge too far to completely start again, so we had to footle around with it and alter it to have a path alongside (it was on a hill) and it worked out quite well eventually. 




    Hope the new owners are enjoying it image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • janeijanei Posts: 2

    Thank you to all have replied to me, amazing!  The advice has been invaluable-next step wrap 'how to build the pond' for Christmas pressie and get the duck. Might be joking about the duck!

    Happy Christmas :) and Thank you all again


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