On a frosty morning in February, we visited Gill and Tom’s pond. Tom built their pond over ten years ago, digging it out himself to create a hole about 1.5m x 1m and ranging from 16–30cm deep.
It’s double lined with a thick white base layer which prevents sharp things from creating leaks, and then a dark waterproof lining made of Butyl (synthetic rubber). Stones round the edge anchor the lining and provide shelter for wildlife. It occasionally needs topped up if the weather is very dry. They bought their plants from a garden centre, probably Klondyke. Canadian pond weed spreads like crazy and can be a bit of a nightmare; they also have a floating rootless plant called water-soldier. Initially the plants were planted in mesh baskets to help them establish. Irises and yellow flag grow around the fringes.
Over the years they’ve seen a huge range of wildlife which has found its way to their pond: common and palmate newts, frogs, toads, a dragonfly, damselflies, mallard ducks and even a heron. They once heard a frog hiss as it defended itself from a cat! Snails were introduced from another pond as they can help in keeping the water clean.