Things to consider:-
Location of your pond is key. You will want to enjoy your pond so you should be able to see if from various locations within your garden and home. You want to avoid shady areas, full sunshine areas and areas below deciduous trees (if possible).
The type of pond is important – do you want a preformed pond, a rubber liner pond which enables more flexibility or a raised/sunken pond.
The size of pond is important dependant on what you want to feature within it. Don’t forget to keep your pond’s size in proportion to your garden.
The depth of your pond is important too. Different plants require different depths of water to survive and nature ponds require ledges to enable wildlife to get in/out of your pond.
Remember you may need electricity to power pumps, filter and lighting. Electricity and water are now a good combination so you will professional advice to ensure your pond design and installation is safe.
And last but not least – ensure you give yourself more than enough time to build your pond!
Design your pond:-
Try out different designs in your head and on paper first. Go to your local Aquatic Retailer and have a discussion with them on the suitable options, equipment required and materials available as part of your design process. There is a practical need to be fulfilled in filtration and maintenance of your pond as well as the aesthetics.
Where possible you should consider a gentle slope to all ponds in one areas to offer animals such as hedgehogs a means of escape should they fall in.
Digging your pond:-
Mark out the area your pond is going to be either with string lines, hose or dry sand. Remove the turf and stack away from the working area.
Now dig the whole area to the depth of the first shelf from your pond design. At this depth, mark the shelf line with string lines, hose or dry sand (as you did for the outer perimeter of the overall pond).
Then dig out to the next level and repeat the process until all shelves have been dug and you’ve reached the maximum depth required.
Check each shelf is level and dig away as required.
If making a raised pond, you will have to ensure that the base of your pond is strong and the supporting walls are designed with strength to withhold the weight of the water within.
Lining your pond:-
Remove all sharp items, lumps and stones from your dug out pond. Each surface needs to be as smooth as possible.
Spread a layer of soft builder’s sand over the whole area approx. 3cm thick. This will help prevent your liner being punctured as the weight of the water pressurises down.
On top of the sand lay Pond Underlay or old carpets.
Take your pond liner or preformed pond and lay evenly in the pond hole you’ve dug. Take care not to drag or damage your pond liner or preformed pond. Once placed into the hole, secure the sides of the liner with bricks.
Once you have made all the required adjustments, you’re ready to start filling your pond up with water.
Filling up your pond:-
Start filling your pond with water.
As the water fills up, pull the edges of the liner so that it fits neatly over the contours of the pond (or if you have a preformed pond liner ensure it sits tightly in the hole as the water pushes out the preformed structure).
Continue this process until the pond is full.
Finishing the edges:-
Once the pond is full, you can then tidy the edges. Allow an overlap all the way around the edge of your pond of approx. 30cm. Trim off any excess pond liner accordingly.
You can then cover the overlap pond liner with either paving/edging stones or if creating a more natural pond, turf over the top allowing the turf to reach the water’s edge.
Now you’re ready to add things to your pond, but ……..
If you’re planning to add fish, wait approx. 6 weeks for the water to settle. You will need to consider adding Aquasafe to dechlorinate the tap water before adding fish.
If you’re planning to add plants, ensure you use Aquatic Compost as this has been ‘steralised’ and shouldn’t contaminate your water with other chemicals found in ‘normal’ compost.