We will never tire of singing the praises of the garden pond. They quickly fill up with insects, amphibians and other wildlife – frogs find new ponds very quickly!
You’ll need to put in a day or two of hard digging but this effort will most definitely pay off, attracting all kinds of wildlife and birds to your garden.
Here's Bird Watching magazine's 12 steps to building your pond – follow the images clockwise for each number.
1. The easy bit! Grab a spade, and dig. One end of the pond should be shallow, allowing easy access for birds, amphibians and other wildlife.
2. Use a spirit level to check that the sides of the pond are level – if they aren’t, build up one side slightly with some of the soil from the hole.
3. If the edges of the hole still look too steep all round, backfill one end of the hole so that wildlife has an easy access point to the water.
4. Lining the pond with carpet means that your waterproof liner is protected from stones and roots – otherwise punctures happen all too easily.
5. Cut the carpet to size, then tread it down until it’s a snug fit. Slit any bulges, then flatten them out by overlapping the cut edges.
6. Buy a sturdy waterproof liner, and remember that you need it to be at least half as big again as the bare dimensions of your pond.
7. At least partly fill the pond with water at this point, to weigh the liner down and help it to sit tightly against the sides of the pond.
8. Trim the waterproof liner to shape, leaving plenty spare around the edges – this can be covered up later as you landscape the pond.
9. With a spade, make an incision about three inches back from the edge of the pond, then hold the gap open with the spade.
10. Tuck the liner into the incision as tightly as you can – this will hold it even more firmly in place, and make it easier to cover up.
11. Start to cover over the edges of the liner with the soil you dug out – it can be loosely for now, allowing you to adjust as you go along.
12. Stones and pebbles around some of the edges anchor the liner further, and provide perches for birds to use as they drink.