Wildlife pond design: cross section

Cross section through my pond

Cross section through my pond

Good designs for wildlife ponds need two things:

– clean water

– a good shape.

In fact you can manage with just one of these: really clean water. Then almost any shape – deep, shallow, big small, steep-sided, gentle sloping – will be good.

Really good designs for wildlife garden ponds are still in their infancy, but the cross section above – which shows what my garden pond looks like – should be an improvement on the standard shapes recommended.

The main feature of my pond is that it’s three ponds in one – in winter and spring when water levels are usually highest, its a single waterbody.

Then as levels go down, as they usually do in the summer and early autumn, it should separate into three basins: shallow, middling and deep. The shallow basin is designed dry out, providing a temporary pond habitat.  The middling and deep basin will stay wet for longer, and may only dry out in the very driest years or not at all.

This gives the greatest variety of habitat – because the thing that really creates diversity in freshwater is the mix of permanent and seasonal water that you see in natural environments.

As a very rough rule of thumb about half of all freshwater species are at home in places which dry out from time to time, including amphibians. Add this to the garden and you get the greatest variety of wildlife.

The basins are about 10, 15 and 20 cm deep respectively.



One Response to “Wildlife pond design: cross section”

  1. Shallow water for wildlife ponds « The Garden Pond Blog Says:

    […] made a very rough sketch earlier of the cross section of my […]

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