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wild life pond depth

Please could you tell me what depth the deepest part of a wild life pond has to be.

Also what other features are important - shallow slopes I know but how much.

Do you cover the shallow part in some sort of smooth tiny stones or shingle? What would this be called? I tried to see what Monty Don had put in his new pond but I can't see what sort of shingly stuff he has used.


  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    30 cm depth works for wildlife

    60 cm depth works much better for a wildlife pond in a garden because it allows a greater choice of plants.

    Shingle beaches are popular. One shallow sloping side is often recommended, which could also be a shingle beach.

    I've never built a wildlife pond with either. We line the edge with turfs half in and half out of the water and they are sufficient to allow things like amphibians and misguided hedgehogs to get out OK. There is nothing wrong with shingle beaches and a gently sloping side though, particularly if finishing the top edge with turfs is not part of the plan. image

  • janebaljanebal Posts: 130

    Thank you for this - I will try to get to about 50 cm but solid clay is making it a hard job.

    Did you use a butyl liner for your pond?

    Also did you put just one shelf around or more at different depths? A bit confused about these.

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    I'm on solid clay also and built a clay pond. It isn't easy to do it this way at all though.

    It had a pvc liner originally that didn't last so I would recommend the butyl liners they are much better. 

    You can build shelves around the edge at different levels, mostly so you can put different plants on them as they will appreciate different water depths. Or you could go for a bowl shape and add bricks under the pots. Either can work well.

    You can see is the picture the different levels I had in the clay pond with the planters in place as it filled up with water.


  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    I think somebody posted the link to this the other day, but is very helpful so I hope they don't mind me posting it again:


    PS though the recommendation of minimum 75cm for hibernating amphibians in the leaflet is a bit suspect, the current advice is that water doesn't freeze in the UK at the bottom at 30 cm depth, so it should be sufficient, so a bit of contradiction in the advice that is currently published.

  • janebaljanebal Posts: 130

    Thanks for the great photo of your pond and the link Gemma. I thought the bowl shape was a great idea as it comes up gradually. Still unsure of whether I will need little smooth pebbles or not for the shallow areas - or do you have bare liner?

    More digging out tomorrow and investigating your link.

    So maybe 30cm is enough ? Am at about 50cm but then with liners etc this will only be about 40cm in the end. Hopefully this could be all right you think?

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