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Leaky Pond

Hi I have a lovely wildlife pond in my garden with a flexible liner.  The problem is that the liner keeps being damaged, by wildlife, it has been punctured by both wild ducks and herons and has now been undermined by moles and is empyting.  I don't want to give-up as it is a really pleasure, but was wondering if a pre-formed liner or puddled clay would be better to avoid, as far as possible this problem from happening again.  Reparing or replacing will be a big job, so if anyone has any advice or experience of the same thing it would be appreciate.

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  • Unfortunately, sometimes conditions just aren't right for a flexible liner, although I prefer them over all other methods. However, you may be able to sink a preformed one into the existing cavity, without removing the old liner. Just make sure the new one is well supported all round to prevent it from flexing too much.

    H-C

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,264

    YOU HAVE MY SYMPATHIES. I TOO HAVE BEEN THE VICTIM OF A HERON'S BEAK. (NOT PERSONALLY, YOU UNDERSTAND).image

    YOU MENTION PUDDLED CLAY. ROUND HERE IN DERBYSHIRE WE HAVE THINGS CALLED DEW PONDS. THEY ARE BUILT TO PROVIDE WATER FOR LIVESTOCK IN OUR DRY, LIMESTONE HILLS. CONTRARY TO WHAT THEIR NAME SUGGESTS, THEY WORK ON THE PRINCIPLE OF CONDENSATION RATHER THAN RUNOFF.

    HERE IS A DESCRIPTION OF HOW THEY USED TO BE MADE USING PUDDLED CLAY. THEY ARE NOW MADE FROM CONCRETE.image

    http://www.rexresearch.com/dewpond/dewpond.htm

    AS YOU CAN SEE, THEY REQUIRED A LOT OF WORK TO MAKE AND QUITE A BIT OF MAINTENANCE TO KEEP WATERTIGHT.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Do you have any pictures of the pond. I don't think puddled clay is a good choice for a small pond. Preformed ponds aren't that great either - generally deep in relation to their size with limited marginal shallow areas, and are also very expensive.

    What kind of liner did you use? The better ones aren't cheap but they are pretty strong. Rubber liners (Butyl or EPDM synthetic rubber) can also be repaired.

  • Hi, thanks for your replies.  The pond is quite big and deep in the middle and fully planted.  The first liner was brought from a garden centre which specialised in ponds and cost quite a lot, it was fine for 3 years until the wild ducks found the pond and damaged it, aided and abetted by the heron who took up residence.  So I emptied that, took out the old liner and then brought a new, more heavy duty rubber liner which was again recommended for a wildlife pond.  This one lasted really well, until the pond was undermined by moles and invaded again by the ducks.  We have attempted to repair it, but its not worked very effectively, I think there are just too many holes.  Perhaps I just have to accept that it is really working well as a wildlife pond, too well in fact as they keep damaging it, so need to just keep on replacing the liner,image  I'm not too keen on a pre-formed liner for the reasons people have identified and am aware of the work involved in puddled clay, but would appreciate if this might actually be more effective at withstanding the wildlife than a liner. Does anyone have experience of a puddled clay pond in these circumstances?

    But any ideas would be gratefully received. 

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,992

    How big is the pond? Would a concrete pond waterproofed   Well work? It certainly would not be damaged by beaks etc

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • It is an irregular shape, but at it's widest point it is 26 ft and about 30 ft at the longest point.

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,264

    IF YOU LOOK AT THE VERY END OF THE LINK I PRIVIDED YOU WILL SEE THE NAMES OF COMPANIES THAT "INSTALL" DEW PONDS. THEY MAY BE ABLE TO OFFER YOU SOME ADVICE.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • That's a lot bigger than I'd imagined when you mentioned a preformed liner, but I think it's still too small for clay to be a good option. Have a read through this discussion thread: http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/forum/hand-building-a-clay-pond_topic3889_page1.html

    Preformed ponds just seem ridiculously expensive, and as I said they are generally a bad shape. E.g. a quick search found some costing about £500 for 5 sq m or so - £100  / sq m compared to maybe £7 for rubber. Even with underlay & delivery that should still work out under £10 / sq m.

    What kind of underlay did you use? For the 2 ponds I've made here I used Polyfelt which is over £1 / sq m but is very high quality - I did see some mole tunnels pushing up the liner in places initially but not to cause any real problems. No chance of them burrowing through it so long as they don't get in between the underlay and the actual liner.

    I have wondered about putting a layer of underlay over the liner as well as under, although two problems that come to mind are (1) underlay over the pond edge would wick water very efficiently out of the pond, and (2) I fear newts etc. might get tangled in the fibres.

    I'm surprised that ducks are puncturing the liner. We get them here regularly from about now to early summer (despite a lot of shooing off), but no damage to the liner that I'm aware of. Only seen herons very very occasionally (probably because we don't have any fish). Whereabouts in the country are you?

  • a1154a1154 Posts: 800

    Oh heck. Im just making a new small (ish) fish pond, and we get lots of moles and voles. I never considered they could puncture a liner. I already bought the liner, a mid price one, not butyl. I was going to use lino for the underlay. I thought stones were the only problem. Quite worried now. 

    I have a larger wildlife pond already, but thst doesnt have a liner. 

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