Dartmoor Wildlife Pond Installation
A Wildlife Pond Is A Great Idea
This client was particular in their requirements for the design, installation and on going maintenance for a pond in their medium sized garden; a small but attractive wildlife pond construction, integrated small stream type waterfall and a gravel and alpine plant garden. All in one pretty package!
Marking Out The Pond
Our first port of call was to identify whereabouts in the garden to locate the pond. The area was marked out, this was to roughly gauge how much space it will take up.
Digging The Pond
The pond was dug out by hand and given a deep central well for wildlife to overwinter in the slightly cooler Dartmoor climate! A shallower shelf was created to hold aquatic plants and as a base for rock piles for natural access points which is important for animals such as frogs and newts.
Installing The Pond Liner
The pond liner was folded carefully into place and encouraged to fit the contours of the bottom with a little water. A lot of excess was left for the waterfall construction.
Filling Up The Pond!
The pond was filled with rainwater from a series of water butts. This is so there will be no initial algae bloom which is common when using tap water due to the higher nutrient levels. Slow filling encourages the liner to settle properly too.
Rock Positioning and Waterfall Creation
Local slate was used to complement the garden aesthetic in creating a border around the pond. This will lend itself to moss growth over time, softening the overall look and further blending the pond into the garden. Left over soil and a compost topper was used to create a bank next to the pond that will become the waterfall/stream. Some patio slabs were moved to create space for the alpine gravel garden.
Pump Installation and Bordering
The pump was installed during the waterfall construction as the hose was integrated within it, hiding it from view. Borders were dug out around the pond as an extension of the alpine gravel garden. This is to ensure continuity and to help the two blend together. It also helps animals feel secure in and around the wildlife pond.
To bring the whole project together a combination of large natural cobbles and small natural pea gravel was used to blend around the slate and create the stream waterfall. Aquatic plants were then introduced, and ferns and alpines placed around the waterfall and gravel garden. This gives an aesthetically pleasing waterside look that will only improve as time passes, whilst providing a wildlife-friendly garden centrepiece.
Three Months On!
The pond has settled in well and plants are growing nicely. With a little pump maintenance, waste removal and pruning two or three times a year (all services we provide!) this will be a beautiful and thriving wildlife haven for years to come. The client has since informed us that the frogs and newts have already moved in, along with a plethora of other invertebrates and pond creatures!
A Thriving Wildlife Pond!
Take a look at this article on building your own wild life pond if you feel like taking the challenge up yourself.