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Making a wildlife pond

FritillaryFritillary WiltshirePosts: 497

I am wanting to make a wildlife pond, but which is better a liner or preformed pond. The problem I have is that after it has rained a lot the ground water level rises and can stay high for a couple of weeks. Is it likely that the water pressure would make the liner balloon up or if preformed make the pond lift out of the ground.



  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    I doubt it will lift out of the ground with the weight of water in the pond even if it is waterlogged around it.

    Both liners and preformed have their merits. One downfall of preformed is the sides are often a bit too steep to allow wildlife to get in and out easily so that may point to using a liner. Liners though can be easily damaged, the thicker gauge butyl ones are better but a lot more expensive.

    I've renovated my pond  using clay, major project but I'm really happy with the result and no more worrying about damaged liners. image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,251

    Last year forum member Jack made a wildlife pond - he posted some really good pictures - have a look here

    We also made a wildlife pond last spring - by the summertime we had frogs, newts, toads, dragonflies and a visiting grass snake image  Some pics here






     As you can see, we found a flexible liner with good underlay did the job absolutely perfectly.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,140

    We made a pond last summer, I looked at the pre formed, and in fact bought one! What a mistake it was, , it didnt have a very slopey end for little baby newts and frongs to climb out of, it was an absolute pain in the wotsit to dig the hole exactly like the contours which is absolutely crucial, so dumped that and bought this.

    Its very good, easy to cut and lay, we used the brown side uppermost but that is a matter of choice.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • I have a pre-formed pond that I put in in the summer. My only real issue is that I can see green!

  • FritillaryFritillary WiltshirePosts: 497

    Thank you very much Gemma,   Dove, the links and photos are very helpful. Lyn thanks for the link, the prices for that type of liner are very good. We will certainly have to look into it now.

  • I also went for a fibreglass pond as I was planting a small plum tree a few feet away and even though it is on dwarfing stock, I felt it would be more root resistent!


    I have a couple of lysmachia that trail into the pond to be used as ladders and have set up stones that reduce one part of the edge to around 1cm to allow easier exit for any residents.

  • Fritillary,

    I had a customer with a pre-formed pond. The garden used to get waterlogged most winters - standing water all over the lower part of the lawn where the pond was located - and the problem was exactly as you fear. The pond floated 100 - 150mm up out of the lawn when the water table was high and of course never really settled back properly into the excavation in summer, so the edge of the pond looked ugly and the surrounding slabs didn't look great.

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    That's something I've never seen happen so didn't think it was possible, you live and learn image Is a liner pond likely to be affected in the same way?

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,140

    Ou garden is slopeyand we have a lot of rain, being on the edge of Dartmoor, the pond liner is sited at the bottom of the slope so all the water drains down there, the liner hadnt lifted yet, hopefully wont, I can understand the fibreglass ones lifting though, like a boat. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • A liner could bubble up in the same way, but would probably settle back better.

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