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Planning a garden pond

Thinking about adding a pond to your garden? A recommended aquatics specialist explains the basics.

How to plan a garden pond


When constructing a pond, careful planning is vital.

The pond should be situated where it will be shade-free for five to six hours each day. This allows aquatic plants to flourish. Also, position it away from over-hanging trees.


It’s a good idea to make the pond as large as you can, as small ponds often suffer from algae problems.

How much does it cost for a professional to build a pond?

In July 2012 we sent a survey to all Which? Local traders in the Gardeners and landscaping category with a rating of three stars or more and an email address.

21 gardeners and landscape designers responded to the survey and told us that the typical price for a 1.5m diameter pond (including digging the hole, lining and filling) is: £507.

View all gardening prices and completion times


A pond should include:

  • a deep water area for lillies and fish to over-winter
  • a cobbled beach for wildlife to escape
  • correct shelf depths for marginal plants
  • accurate levels, since water is unforgiving.


Pond planting is about bringing together a number of key ingredients – just like a recipe. Get this balance right and your pond will stay clear and healthy.


A few small goldfish will happily live in an unfiltered pond but, if you want to keep lots of fish, a good filtration system is essential.

About our expert trader

Jo Pateman - managing director of pond maintenance and construction business Women With Waders

Our expert: Jo Pateman

Jo Pateman is managing director of Women With Waders – a specialist in pond maintenance, cleaning, refurbishment and construction.

The business is based in Hitchin and covers the Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, North London, Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire area.

Which? Local users have praised Women With Waders for their thorough and friendly service.

Read reviews for Women with Waders