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Water features

Is a plastic liner necessary for a pond or rill?


  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,267
    Butyl rubber will be much better than plastic.
    Rutland, England
  • jamesholtjamesholt Posts: 486
    Can I do it without any liner?  My water table is only about two feet below ground level?
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,046
    If you're prepared to have the level go up and down, possible dry out in summer? 
    Your garden,your money,  your choice. :)
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,111
    Water will soak into teh ground and also evaporate in warm weather so, if you really don't want to invest in decent butyl lining and the protective layer it will need below to protect it from stones, you will need to dig the pond deeper than the water table height so you always have some water and plant a screen around it to hide how ugly it will look as it dried out in summer.  You will also need to keep it cleared of plants like yellow flag and bull rush that will try and terraform it.

    We had such a pond dug for drainage (with a bulldozer) in our last garden and this new one, also an ex farmhouse, has one that was dug to provide water for cattle.  We've had to get a mini bulldozer in to clear it of brambles, bull rush, goat willows, self sown ash and other horrors but even so some bull rush survived.


    became this - after some rain!

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,888
    edited January 2020
    Round here in the White Peak the bedrock is limestone. In order to keep sheep and cattle, the farmers build dew ponds. They are circular depressions dug into the rock with gently sloping, terraced sides. When full, they may be 3 metres deep and fifteen across. 

    Originally, they were made by a long and complicated procedure which caused dew to for in them. Nowadays, they are generally lined with concrete and get filled when it rains. They don’t look pretty, get filled with windblown rubbish, but they do provide a home for newts and other beasties.

    For more information

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,869
    @holt120 for what reason do you not want a liner? 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • jamesholtjamesholt Posts: 486
    Lyn I dont know why I want a liner but monty don put one in so I'm assuming there is a very good reason for the expense.  I just didn't know what it was?
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,869
    edited January 2020
    We’ve got this, brown side up because we preferred it that way, that’s up to you, but it’s not expensive,  well, I suppose it could be if you wanted a really large pond.🙂
    they calculate how much you need, allowing for overhang and depth.
    Was easy to lay and sits on the shelf margins nicely.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,766
    It keeps the water where you want it and stops the till from becoming a muddy ditch. 
    If the water table was high enough to stop the water draining away your garden would already be a bog ... which I presume it’s not. 

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

  • jamesholtjamesholt Posts: 486
    It's almost a bog.  I have two feet of soil before water.  I didn't realize why many of the trees I planted were having such a hard time until I started moving them. I now only plant trees in this area that like water.  Pond Cyprus. Bald Cyprus river birch. Cotton wood
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