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How to Build a Garden Pond: Step by Step Guide

Koi Pond
There are many environmental benefits of building a garden pond and for the pond owner, it’s a wonderfully therapeutic and rewarding hobby that can provide hours of interesting fun and excitement. As well as supporting local wildlife, a pond in your garden can help you conserve water over time. Whilst a lawn needs to be watered regularly throughout the summer months in Britain, a pond can replenish sufficiently through light rainfall across all seasons. Not only can a garden pond provide birds and wildlife with drinking water but there are many species which breed in ponds such as invertebrates like pond skaters, water beetles and mussels, amphibians or fish, and bugs such as dragonflies and damselflies.

If you are planning on digging your own garden pond, follow the step by step guide below:

  1. Contact Your Local Council
To be sure that you aren’t digging into any buried utilities, contact the local council before you start planning your dig.

  1. Gather Your Tools
Once you have the go-ahead from the local authorities, it’s time to gather the right tools and equipment:
-          Shovel and trowel
-          Pond lining materials
-          Fountain pump
-          Access to running water
-          Landscaping rocks
-          Bricks
-          Rope

  1. Start Digging
Using the rope, mark out the shape and size of your pond and start digging this area. You don’t need to dig at the exact same depth all across as a variety of levels helps to create handy plant shelves. Use a trowel to achieve different shelf levels. Don’t forget to dig a space for a skimmer if you choose to use one. Or if you intend on installing a waterfall or fountain, take a look at the different pumps online.

  1. Line the Pond
The next step is to put the underlay in your pond. This can be created from a number of different things including sand, newspaper or special pond underlays purchased from garden centres. Then place a pond lining over and hold in place with bricks.

  1. Fill the Pond with Water
Use a garden hose to fill the pond with water but don’t forget that if you are installing a skimmer or pond pumps, you need to account for these before filling. If you choose to have a water feature, test it out before you complete the pond. 

Now tuck the pond lining under the bricks and then cover with dirt so you can’t see the lining anymore. Place your landscaping rocks around the edge of the pond. Not only will rocks cover the crease of the lining but they are also essential for necessary pond bacteria.


  1. Finishing Touches
Wait at least two days before you start adding pondlife such as fish and add decorative touches to your pond. You can create a wetland using sand or you can start to add plantlife around the edges of the pond.

For pond design ideas, visit DigsDigs online for some photo inspiration. Or for a video guide, watch this interesting step by step montage on Youtube.


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