Sheila and Steve have each built or extended wildlife ponds in the Combe Down and Limpley Stoke area. You can find the official advice here, (link to pond section on tips page) but these are some additional handy hints from their real-life local experience.
About 3 years ago I made a small pond in our back garden, and, while I have enjoyed it, I regretted that I didn’t make it larger. So in November I bought a pre-formed pond liner, and installed a much larger pond. I learnt a few things in the process!
- Check your sizes! I took a photo of the label on the liner, which gave the dimensions, but didn’t allow for the 10cm peripheral trough. It seemed SO much larger when I got it home!
- Check that the shape allows you to have a shallow area for creatures to be able to get out. Even though mine has different depths I still had to get creative with pebbles.
- Don’t be too ambitious! We have fairly shallow soil on top of limestone, which meant I had to use a pick axe- not easy when you are already in a hole! I remembered why I hadn’t made a bigger pond initially!
- Pace yourself. Digging it out is hard work, so don’t rush to do it all at once.
You can find all sorts of videos and instructions on making ponds on the internet by simply searching for something like ‘how to build a wildlife pond’. One I particularly like because it covers large and small ponds, together with those ditches and boggy patches, is the RSPB’s web page on ponds.
A great leaflet to print off if needed, again with instructions for large and mini ponds and lots of other useful information, can be found here at Wild About Gardens.
Here are their instructions for a mini pond: