Choosing the site
Be aware of health and safety implications. Undertake a full risk assessment. Consider both location and design. Do not place ponds close to busy student areas, or where there is open access to local residents.
Consider any potential for vandalism. If you are using a lining this could be punctured by large objects that could be thrown into the pond.
Planning permission may be necessary if you are planning a very large pond, especially if there is public access. Ask your local planning officer for advice.
Give preference to a damp or waterlogged area. Any excavated area with a high water table will naturally fill with water and the levels will fluctuate throughout the year. This type of wet area will be of much greater biodiversity value than an artificially lined area.
Avoid polluted areas. Don’t place your pond where it is going to receive extensive run-off from car parks or chemically treated areas such as amenity grassland or intensively managed flowerbeds.
Give preference to a sunny or partially shaded spot. This will allow the water to warm quickly in spring.
Think about edge habitat. The wildlife value of your pond will be higher if it is adjacent to other semi-natural habitats such as rough grassland, woodland and especially other wetland areas. Rock or wood piles and dry-stone walls can also be good hibernating habitats for amphibians.
Check what is underground. Look at your estate plans and/or hire a piece of equipment such as a CAT scanner to check for pipes and cables running under your site.
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