Fill the pond and allow the water to stand for at least a week before planting. Rain water is best. If possible, avoid tap water. If there is no alternative, leave it to stand for a couple of days to allow chlorine to dissipate. Do not use tap water after the first fill, as this is likely to adversely affect plants and animals.
Plant a variety of species. Choose some submerged species, some with floating leaves, some emergent plants and some marginal and bog plants. Between a third and two thirds of your pond should be covered by tall marginal plants and the rest dominated by submerged plants with open water.
Use native plants. Always plant native species (of local provenance if possible). Some non-native species are highly invasive and must not be planted, even though they can still be found in garden centres.
Avoid these plants!
Natural colonisation by pond animals is best. It is surprising how quickly this takes place. You could help this process by adding a small amount of water and mud from a nearby pond. This will contain eggs and larvae of aquatic species, which will colonise your new pond.
Do not release fish into a wildlife pond, especially gold fish. They will eat everything!
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