Create a pond in your garden and you will make a massive difference to wildlife, attracting a whole host of interesting creatures – everything from birds and frogs to beneficial insects. Tools you will need:
Hose – for marking out shape
Pond insulation or old carpet
Paving or turf – for edges
Soft building sand
Step 1: Once you have chosen your spot (not too close to trees or too shady), define the perimeter of your pond. A good idea is to use a hosepipe to mark out the area first.
Step 2: Using a spade, dig out the pond area to the depth of the first shelf. You can mark this using sand or string, then dig out the centre of the pond. Make sure one side has a gentle slope to give animals a means of escape.
Step 3 Remove any lumps or sharp stones from the hole. Then spread a 3cm layer of soft builders’ sand over the area. Add a layer of pond underlay or old carpet above the sand for additional protection.
Step 4: Unfold the pond liner and spread it evenly over the hole. You might need an extra pair of hands – get someone to help you do this if you can. Secure the sides of the liner with bricks.
Step 5: Start filling the pond with water and as you so this, pull the edges of the liner so that it fits neatly over the contours of the pond. Fill the pond to the top.
Step 6: Next trim the sides of the liner using a craft knife, leaving a 30cm overlap around all the sides. Bury the pond liner down into the soil and lay turf or slabs up to the water’s edge.
Step 7: Now the fun bit: position plants and add oxygenators. Then sit back, enjoy your pond and watch the wildlife take up residence. It’s as easy as that!
Looking after your pond
New ponds quickly grow algae and turn bright green, but this is normal. Leave the pond alone and the situation should improve when a natural balance is established.
Blanket weed and duckweed thrive in ponds. Use a stick to gather the mat-like growth of blanket weed and remove from the pond. Duckweed floats on the surface and is easily scooped out using a large sieve or colander.
Don't forget ponds can be dangerous for young children. For safety you can position a rigid steel mesh frame over the pond.