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Cathryn

Making a pond

We are planning a quite large pond on part of the lawn. It's a bit that tends to be soggy all winter and it would be rather good if it filled and stayed full on it's own. Assuming it doesn't though, what should we use to keep the water in? What have you used that was successful? It will be roughly 20' x 15'.no smilies
Hairyloon

Pond liner or clay are the usual things.no smilies
Went

Liners need lining so old carpets, rugs, clothing, cardboard, sand - keep them in mind as they work well for lining the liner. We used Butyl but for your size pond it would be expensive so you might want a high grade PVC.no smilies
misty07

Liners need lining so old carpets, rugs, clothing, cardboard, sand - keep them in mind as they work well for lining the liner. We used Butyl but for your size pond it would be expensive so you might want a high grade PVC.
also roofing insulation. fiberglassno smilies
Hairyloon

I'm wondering what would happen if you used lots of newspaper layered together with vegetable grease... :?no smilies
Nick

Wouldn't the paper disintegrate as the oil rose to float on the water? What are you after, self battering fish?no smilies
Hairyloon

Wouldn't the paper disintegrate as the oil rose to float on the water? What are you after, self battering fish?

Would the grease separate from the paper? And the paper wouldn't float easily if it was weighted down with mud.
But plant roots would easily penetrate it and cause leaks... OK, back to the drawing board...no smilies
hardworkinghippy

Good try though Hairyloon !

Have you dug the pond yet Cathryn ? From what you've said, it sounds as though you may have a clay soil.

After it's dug, play with the earth that's on the bottom of the pond. If it's sticky clay you could be lucky and all that it needs is a bit of puddling to keep it watertight. That can be done by (ideally) a few pigs rolling in it for a week or so to flatten the clay but if that's not possible, then some daft pals with wellies on can do the job in an afternoon. :lol:

Wait for the rain and see how the pond holds water. If there's a leak, put back some clay that you've taken out and puddle it again.

We've made loads of ponds like this and although we live in a dry climate most of them hold water all year round.

This is after a year - puddled by foot :



This one was puddled by our pigs and has never been dry :



Try the clay first and if the pond doesn't hold water then you can use butyl - what have you got to lose ?no smilies
Cathryn

It will be dug today or tomorrow and yes I am going to keep my fingers crossed and hope it holds water. In fact I've been advised that it's a hole not a pond, as a hole invariably fills with water. A pond inevitably empties. :)

Lovely pond you have there. Just what I fancy.

We do have a spaniel though.no smilies
hardworkinghippy

We have five Dachshunds who love water too !

We also have one of these, so the temptation to make more ponds is extreme.....

no smilies
Cathryn

Yes, that looks rather like the one we are using at the moment.

Just dug a deep hole for a septic tank. It's not too far from where I'd like the pond dug. It's through a lot of shale but the top layer is clay. Hurrah! There is water already seeping into it. I am feeling hopeful but I have also come in to price up liner.no smilies
Toffer

We're always taken with the idea of a pond somewhere too, we're Easy Anglia though so not sure if there's enough clay in our silt to make it watertight.

Would be interested to know from those with experience if it's possible to make a relatively large pond with a modest digger, say micro or mini, if you're patient?no smilies
Hairyloon

Would be interested to know from those with experience if it's possible to make a relatively large pond with a modest digger, say micro or mini, if you're patient?
Why would it not be?
You can make a large pond with a small spade if you have the time and energy.no smilies
Rob R

Would be interested to know from those with experience if it's possible to make a relatively large pond with a modest digger, say micro or mini, if you're patient?
Why would it not be?
You can make a large pond with a small spade if you have the time and energy.

Of course it is, but why would you want to? We dug a pond big enough to bury the machine in with a 5t one iirc, it took a couple of days though. Have just been watching loads of newts & a few fish catching flies in it tonight - best thing we ever did was digging out that pond.no smilies
Cathryn

I remember, your pond is just the kind I would like. Did you have to line it? I imagine not.no smilies Rob R

Not with our clay, but much deeper & it would have been perpetually self-filling. :lol:

The reedbed is lined with a PVC liner covered with gravel, though.no smilies
Hairyloon

You can make a large pond with a small spade if you have the time and energy.

Of course it is, but why would you want to?
Masochism?
Exercise?
Stupidity?

My point was that if you can do it with a small spade, then you can certainly do it with a large mechanical one... even if it is a relatively tiny large mechanical one.no smilies
Sally Too

We dug a pond last year. And it's amazing the wild life it has attracted.

However we have a problem with excessive duck weed. I'm not sure if the strawbale solution is suitable for this one? Anyone know?

Family have been raking it off from the side a bit.... it makes a good mulch for other projects but we have too much even for that!!

Ponds are such fun, even all green, I still have a seat down by it to sit and watch the goings on. Two duck landed while I was there the other day, and a cute little squirrel came out and sunned himself on a branch too.... (okay I know they are rats with tails really, but he did look cute!)no smilies
Rob R

You can make a large pond with a small spade if you have the time and energy.

Of course it is, but why would you want to?
Masochism?
Exercise?
Stupidity?

My point was that if you can do it with a small spade, then you can certainly do it with a large mechanical one... even if it is a relatively tiny large mechanical one.

Sorry, I misquoted, that wasn't meant to be in reply to you.

While we're on the subject though, this rather links in with the small farms thread - sustainability, perhaps? Think of all that diesel saved :lol:no smilies
Mutton

1. Went to Hever Castle many years back. Enormous ornamental lake which was dug entirely by hand. I seem to remember it was 3 shifts of workers who dug 24 hours - working at night by the light of flares. Forgotten how many months it took.

2. Clay lining - the other year we dug down in a wet patch in a field hoping for a goose pond. It did fill in the rain and drain slowly over a few days so there was an intermittent pond, but then OH dug it deeper and its drained perfectly ever since :(. So if we line it with clay, will geese wreck it? (They wreck most everything else....).

3. Also we have no clay here, so does anyone have any idea of the relative costs of clay liner to concrete liner? (Butyl is out, the geese will nibble through it.)no smilies
tai haku

Butyl is out, the geese will nibble through it.

Seriously??! :shock: :shock:no smilies
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