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Building a wildlife pond

JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
edited April 2018 in Wildlife gardening
Hi all, I’m new to the forum, I’ve just started building a wildlife pond and am bound to need some advice as it progresses. Ive got lots of inspiration browsing other peoples builds so thought I’d add some pictures etc here to pass it on, so apologies for the long post. My questions and problems will begin when the liner goes in I imagine!

We had a large tree come down in the storms this winter and as we have a woodlandy planted area at the end of the garden I decide to utilise the massive immovable uprooted stump to plant some ferns etc in. Rather than fill in the hole left behind I thought a little wildlife pond may be nice.

Anyway a week later I kept digging a little more than intended and now have a 7x3 metre hole dug our and am awaiting delivery of the liner. 

I want a very natural looking affair, soft edges with no visible liner and plenty of nice planting. It doesn’t look much at the moment but once spring arrives proper that end of the garden is mainly wildflower meadow and woodland planting and is very lush looking.

I’ve got some play sand for the bottom, particularly the shallow beach area, but there are shelves and slopes and I’d like to give the sand, Moss, algae etc something to work with on these.
I had the idea of using hessian to cover these up and give something that stuff could get a hold on. Anyone tried this or anything similar? Would the hessian just rot away and cause a load of problems down the line, or would the plants rooting in it keep everything in place by that point? Or will the rubber liner just algae up anyway and I’m fretting about a non-existing problem?

Few pics to show where I’m at. Underlay and liner going in next week all being well.
The fallen tree that started it all

Utilising the local workforce

Finished hole dug, about .75m deep at far end and shallow beach area at this end 

I’ve used the slices of the fallen tree to make a couple of viewing areas and also placed a few all around the pond for easier access once the planting is in

Hibernaculum finished. Built in and around the uprooted tree stump, lots of logs, bricks etc buried under the bank at the back, along with the actual tree stump which is full of cavities. Plenty of des-res accommodation hopefully

Well that’s where I’m at so far. Any tips/advice/glaring errors pointed out gratefully accepted!


  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,145
    Looks like you have a cracking environment there Lee with your mature natural garden and fields and lakes (or is that a flooded field?) nearby. There are quite a few threads on this topic that you can find using the search facility.

    Here is a fairly recent one which has a lot of contributions that you may find helpful 

    Be really interesting to follow your progress so please keep us updated. 
  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    Thanks Dave, will have a browse through the thread.
    Im afraid its a flooded field, a lake would be nice, but we do have a few natural ponds close nearby so hopeful a few visitors make their way over
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
    Lee17 said:
     but we do have a few natural ponds close nearby so hopeful a few visitors make their way over
    I dug a pond once (and may do so again soon!) and filled it one sunny 21st June. Within an hour of filling there was a Great Diving Beetle doing its thing! I'm not sure if it had sat up a tree and waited for some idiot to dig a hole and fill it with water ...

    Frogs and newts followed, though there were no nearby wild ponds and just one neighbouring garden pond full of Koi carp. So with natural ponds near you I'm sure yours will soon be colonised.
  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    Well they are used to seeing an idiot dig a hole here, its just the first one Ive filled with water. Hopefully they will have hung around on the offchance that eventually I'd make proper use of one!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,135
    edited April 2018
    Hi Lee and welcome  :)
    Looking forward to more pics of your pond as it progresses ... ours is about four years old now and we have newts, frogs, toads and pond snails plus all the usual smaller residents ... and the occasional visit from a watersnake when he wants a frog for lunch ... as he/she only eats a very few a year apparently, and there are lots around here, he's very welcome ... just so glad I saw him and was able to get a photo ... but if you don't like gory stuff don't look 


    Which bit of Suffolk (roughly) are you in, if you don't mind me asking ... I lived most of my life in Mid-Suffolk near Framlingham/Halesworth but have been transplanted to Norfolk  :o

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    Brilliant pic Dove. Grass snakes would be most welcome, we’re opposite a large boggy meadow/common and seen plenty nearby. Haven’t seen one in the garden as yet though so hopefully will tempt them in with some amphibious treats!

    Were in a village on he border just outside Diss, so not far at all from your old stomping ground 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,135
    edited April 2018
    Not far at all  ;)  very much my old area, and nowadays I head up and down the A140 quite often to visit my daughter @WonkyWomble who lives in Ipswich ... the rest of my family are now more towards Woodbridge

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    Ah a quick trip down the A140, otherwise known as 5 hours behind a tractor!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,135
    Hmmmm ... you're speaking to a farmer's daughter  ;)

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    And as I was about to say... which makes life nice and sedate and far less stressful. Ahem   ;);)
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