The Shepherds' Pond Project - Part 1

The Shepherds' Pond Project - Part 1

Digging the pond area

Join the Shepherd family as they embark on a journey to build their very own garden pond, in the first of a series of blogs.

As mentioned in our Go Wild with the family this summer holiday blog, here is the first part of our blog series in which the Shepherd family build a wildlife pond in their back garden!

Several years ago we were lucky enough to buy a piece of land at the end of our garden. It was very overgrown so we have always kept it quite wild. We call it the secret garden.

We’ve always wanted a pond in the garden but didn’t think we had enough room. After reading the Wildlife Trust’s ‘Big or small, ponds for all’ leaflet we realised that it didn’t have to be big. Even a mini pond the size of a washing up bowl or large plant pot can be incredibly valuable, providing a habitat for a huge range of wildlife from damsel and dragonflies, frogs and newts to birds, hedgehogs and bats. So this summer we started a project pond in the secret garden.

Piece of land at the end of the Shepherd's garden

The proposed pond area at the back of the Shepherds' garden

The first step was to find a suitable place for it. We decided on a space at the back of the garden which is quieter and has a good mix of natural light and shade. We cleared the area of various logs, paving slabs and ivy, and trimmed back the nearby forsythia which gave us an area of about 1m by 1.5m. It’s not huge but hopefully we can create a space which will attract lots of wildlife.

We used string to mark out the shape (think squashed jellybean), working around the plants and trees. Then it was time to dig!

Digging the pond area

Digging the pond area

The whole family could get involved with this part, even using beach spades for the fine earth at the end. Proof that you don’t need any specialist equipment to make your pond! We have several stepped areas which will provide shallower places for birds to bathe in and one side has a gradual slope for easy access in and out of the water. The deepest point is about 60cm to allow frogs to overwinter.

Shepherd family pond successfully dug

The pond so far, ready for lining

We are now ready for the next stage, which is lining the pond.

Look out for part 2 of the blog coming soon!