Forum home Wildlife gardening

Wildlife pond


I'm planning to put a wildlife pond in my garden but just wanted a bit of advice. 

Firstly, the size. I've only got a small place to fit it. The area is about 1.5m by 2.5m. i would say only the back 1.5m of this area could be dug down beyond 50cm as there is a lot of hardcore nearer to my patio from when the extension was built. I planned to create a natural gravel / pebble beach at the front because of this. So would the other 1.5 X 1.5 area be sufficient?

My only other concern is what to line it with. The area is surrounded by an established clumping bamboo and three japanese maples. I am concerned about roots getting access and puncturing a traditional liner so was wondering what other options you might suggest?

Finally, I would have liked a small waterfall or cascade as I love the sound of water in the garden. But the whole point is to attract wildlife so should I leave this out or include it?

I'm a novice where wildlife ponds are concerned so any advice much appreciated.




  • Gillian53Gillian53 Posts: 112

    I'm no expert but did make a small pond 3 years ago. I read all I could and got myself thoroughly confused. We too have a rocky garden and could only dig the deepest part to about 18 inches. We couldn't form sloping edges so one side has a foot wide level shallows. I read that wildlife doesn't really need a great depth and all the plants I've introduced are thriving without ledges.  placed turf around the edges and poked the liner underneath. After all the initial worries a frog arrived within a week, followed by damselflies and dragonflies. Pondskaters, whirlygig beetles, boatmen, the list goes on. In the third Spring this year we have had frogspawn

  • Gillian53Gillian53 Posts: 112

    Sent that too soon. I don't have any idea about the root problem but maybe somebody else will. I don't think that wildlife are happy with moving water in ponds so maybe a waterfall isn't a good idea. As I said, I'm no expert. Water and cover will encourage the wildlife.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,965

    The size and depth is fine Starnett. I've had ponds of all sizes and my current one is about half that size! image

    A waterfall would be fine in a much bigger pond but in one that small I wouldn't use one. Perhaps you could create a feature elsewhere in your garden if you enjoy moving water. There are loads of good solutions for small water features nowadays.

    Re the root problem. I think that's your biggest issue. The bamboo in particular. Without seeing exactly how close they are to your intended site, it's difficult to make a judgement, but you may have to consider lining the pond with concrete. You could try the conventional method of underlay, but adding some extra layers, with a very thick rubberised liner on top, and see how it goes. It might be totally fine image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • StarnettStarnett Posts: 2

    Thanks so far for the info. I was thinking the same that it may be best to have a separate water feature with running water So I think that's what I will do. The bamboo is within 2ft of the pond site and is my biggest concern. I though it way be the concrete route but I'd like to avoid this if possible. Could a preformed pond do a better job of keeping the roots at bay?

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,965

    The main issue with preformed ponds is getting the shape of the hole right for them, and then getting it level. It can be tricky - and I think it would be difficult in your circumstances because of trying to dig around roots. I've never used a preformed one because of those problems - so much easier to make your own shape!

    I'm not sure they would be robust enough to deter bamboo roots either.  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

Sign In or Register to comment.