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Was going to dig our pond out today

Was just finalising the design when I thought I would google a bit more and came across this:

In it, it says there is no need to dig as deep as 60cm for a wildlife pond and you are okay just doing it 30cm deep if it is just for wildlife. I am now feeling a bit stumped! I want a wildlife pond but am now unsure how deep to go.



  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,996

    The deeper the better. A good depth of water keeps the temperature reasonably constant whereas a shallow pond can get very hot very quickly which is not good for invertebrates. Also there is a problem with evaporation in a shallow pond. As long as there are shallower areas for animals and birds to use, then go for 60 cms. Our wild life pond is a metre deep by the way, as is the Lily pond. Both are full of newts.

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,144

    Mine is 2ft 6in in the middle with graduating shelf levels, it well froze this winter, if it had been any shallower I dont think the hibernating frogs would have survived. They got right in the middle of the deepest bit.

    I have a book that states the wildlife live in the top 4in, but that is just not practical. You need depth to put your plants in.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Right so shall stick with the original plan, many thanks both image

  • Minosgardener, please do add some sort of ladder to the edge of your pond. I heard that will help hedgehogs to get back out in case the wind up in the pond. 

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    Go for the greater depth for your garden pond for better variety of plants as Lyn says.

    Though technically the advice sheet is 'correct' my 'thing' is newt conservation and we wouldn't dream of putting in a pond less than 60 cm deep. Shallow 'ephemeral' (prone to drying out) ponds have their place, but not in gardens in my opinion. In your garden you want wildlife for sure who wouldn't, but you also want a good range of plants and a permanent pond.

    We find the small newts species and frogs in anything from shallow hollows and tractor ruts to massive road side 'balancing ponds' they are not really all that fussy. 

    So to clarify, 30 cm is OK for wildlife, minimum 60 cm is much better for the garden.

  • My ex-husband was into the conservation of newts and was often called in to move them when needed (he had the licence). So I know they need a minimum of 30cm for laying but wasn't sure how deep they needed overall so was going for 60cm - then read that about not being too deep for the temp and it sent me back thinking again!

    Which area are you Gemma?

  • Andrea, I am making sure that it is specifically sloped for wildlife image It is also having a 'fence' around it to stop hedgehogs and mainly chickens accidentally falling in but big enough for amphibians to get through image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,874

    If you have at least half the edge with gently sloping sides it will look more natural and anything falling in will be able to get out.

    Are you sure about the fence? 

  • Cool, Minosgardener image. Are you going to have a few fishies in the pond? 

  • Oh and are you planning to plant some reed at one corner? I think that would look fab. 

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