Wildlife ponds and the flexibility of pond liners

Once you have made the decision to go ahead and build a natural, wildlife friendly pond in your garden you need to put the following plans in place:

  • where in your garden are you going to build a pond
  • list of materials required
  • decide on an overall budget
  • type of aquatic plants to be introduced to the pond
  • types of wildlife you want to attract and what other needs they may have such as providing shelter and food

A natural pond is one which follows the forms and curves of nature, with no built-up edges. This type of pond is perhaps the simplest and least expensive to create and fits in where there is a flat area in the garden. Ideally you need a flat surface upon which to construct a pond, but it can be done on a slight slope as long as the foundation of the pond is level.

Natural ponds should be as large as you can possibly make them but no matter what size, they are still very valuable to wildlife. Ideally the pond should be sited where there is a good mixture of both shade and light and have gently sloping sides with a soft outline disguised by plants or natural materials such as pebbles. The inspiration for the design needs to come from nature using plants and edging materials indigenous to the area.

As with all ponds, water needs to be contained within the dug out to prevent water seepage. There are various materials available to do this and the choice is yours, but pond liners are probably the best way to create a natural-looking pond and they are durable, flexible so easy to install and the rubber variety is resistant to UV rays.

When constructing a natural pond you need to ensure that the pond liner is protected by first lining the pond with a protective underlay and then a layer of sand on top of the liner to protect it from the claws of visiting wildlife. Water straight from the tap can be used to fill your natural pond although water collected in a rain butt is ideal. Plants will quickly start to fill your pond. The plants used in natural ponds should be local to your habitat. The important thing is to try and make your pond look and act as natural as possible.

With all plans in place, you can now put your project in motion. Being eco friendly and environmentally responsible will help maintain a wonderful natural pond that will attract wildlife to your garden in abundance.

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