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How to Build a Pond this Weekend | A Bradshaws Guide

30th Apr 2021

Copyright © 2024 Bradshaws Direct

How To Build a Pond - Expert Tips & Tricks

Creating your own garden pond is an excellent way to attract new wildlife to your garden, from birds to newts, but there are a few things to consider before you get the water ready.

Here we’ll go through the quickest and easiest way to build a pond, big or small, with our tips and tricks to make things simple.

What you'll Need to build a pond:

  • Pond liner
  • Pond underlay
  • Soft sand (to cover the bottom of the hole)
  • Edging materials (think rocks, paving slabs, spare bricks if you’re desperate)
  • A spade
  • A spirit level  


And of course - 

Your choice of beverage for during and after the digging!

First step - picking a spot

If you’re here then you already have an idea of where your pond is going, but if not don’t worry! Anywhere it will fit is the basic answer, but some areas are better than others.

It can seem like a good idea to put your pond in the boggy section of the garden (water likes water, right?) but this is best avoided. As ground water rises, the pond liner can be lifted out, so a dry area of your garden is actually a better choice.

If you want to attract wildlife, then we recommend a warm, sunny area of the garden if possible. Tadpoles, dragonflies and pond plants will all thrive with a bit of light.

Top Tip: Don’t just start digging. Mark out your pond with a hosepipe or sand on the grass before you start digging.

This way you can make sure it looks good from all angles (including the view from your upstairs window, because you will want to stare at it on a rainy day, trust us). It is also important to check you can get around the pond to trim hedges and maintain fences. 

See more about location on our blog...

How to Dig your Pond

It might seem simple - but digging the hole is hard work, so if you have someone you can trick into helping now is the time. Ensure the sides are level as you dig by laying the wooden plank over sections of the hole with the spirt level on top.

Top tip: you can use some of the left-over soil to make trenches and shallow areas. This is especially important if you’re planning on adding fish to your pond, a bit of variety provides easy hiding places and shelving for plants. 

Using an Underlay for Your Pond

This is where a lot of people go wrong by adding the underlay immediately after they’ve made the space for it. Instead, take that extra precaution and cover the bottom of your hole with 1" (2.5cm) of soft sand to protect the liner from sharp stones. There’s nothing worse than realising your pond has sprung a leak, so don’t get lazy with this step! Cover flat shelves and the sides too if they are not too steep.

Now you can put your underlay in. Pond underlay usually comes in sheets or on a roll, it doesn't have to be in one piece, you can just overlap the pieces a bit.

Top Tip: Use parcel tape or fixing tape to stop the pond underlay from sliding around.

Adding the Pond Liner

Now it’s time to add your pond liner. Depending on the shape of the pond, you may need to fold the corners in. It will be easier to do this as the pond starts to fill up.

Top tip: take your shoes and socks off and get in to add the pond liner, we promise it makes things easier.

Once the liner is full, leave it for a couple of days before edging. Take a look at our edging ideas below for ways to make this the best you can.

Edging Ideas:

If you have any questions you can always give us a call on 01904 691169 and we'll be happy to help. We also have several blog articles all about putting in a pond too:

Pond Designs...

Pond Location...

Waterfalls and Streams...

Fountain pumps...

Filter Pumps...


It's easy to order through our website, but if you would rather speak to someone just give us a call on 01904 698802 and we will be happy to take your order.

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