A new pond

Ponds are one of the best ways to bring wildlife and interest into a garden and are worth considering in every home, although the safety of small children needs consideration.

The ideal position for a pond is in level ground in full view of the house with some cover. Note that some trees, such as willow and laburnum, can poison pond water if they are too close. Mark out the shape with sand or pegs and make sure the liner will cover the hole to the desired depth and overlap the hole by 200mm.

A moulded liner requires a little thought to get the shape right, so do not just invert and mark around. An asymmetric liner will produce a reversed shape.

When digging out, remember to add 40-50mm depth and width to accommodate a sand layer, and always introduce shelves at different depths to allow planting of a variety of plant types and encourage animals of different types. Clear out any sharp stones or roots to protect the liner.

Dampen the sand and spread it out over the hole firmly. Drape the liner over the space and press into shape. Be careful not to puncture the membrane with shoes at this stage. Leave a little extra in the bottom to allow for stretch as the weight of water comes on. Weigh down the edge with blocks to anchor the liner as the water fills.

The water must go in slowly, allowing the liner to shift and mould into shape. At the correct level, shut off and leave to stand and settle. Trim the liner to 200mm and begin to anchor with slabs or pegs and large stones. Slabs bedded in concrete overlapping the liner are the most stable, but if a pebble beach is planned, use much more liner and pegs.

Plant up right away, but leave stocking with fish for a month. Frogs and other wildlife will find the pond on their own.

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