i have always wanted to have a pond in my garden. For years, whilst in rented accommodation, I made do with a large half-barrel. We are on our third now, I think, and it is starting to fail. I think the ice over the extended freeze has split some of the wooden panels, despite having the pump running throughout, stopping it from freezing solid. So, having read about people getting ponds on the forum, I thought "why can't I?". We have pure sand at the top of the garden. It is so bad, the grass won't grow. If it's wet in the summer, we get a strange blue-green algae on the surface of the soil. Otherwise, very little grows. So, I won't be loosing lush lawn if I put a pond there.... When I went to a pond specialist website, to see prices for liners, and how much I would need, i was surprised to see that ponds should be situated in 50% shade. Dad's pond was in full sun, and I didn't think that would be a problem, so long as you have enough aquatic plants to cover 50% of the water surface? I'm thinking of a pond, around 9' by 4' (very ish on the measurements!), about 2-3' deep at its deepest, with planting shelves, and a shallow pebble entry place - with slight ridge before the drop-off. Learnt that lesson the hard way. Unless you are careful, all your lovely pebbles end up in the deep end! The garden is on a slope, but that is the gentler part of the slope. It is at the top of the garden, so at the moment not where people naturally wander, unless they are inspecting the veg beds. But it does seem the natural place to position it. Not the best of photos, but I'm thinking of putting the pond where Harley is heading to. You can just see a bit of a blue patch of wild flowers above his left ear? Then the flower bed will be extended forward to incorporate the pond. Questions I'm left with: - Am I mad to think I might be able to dig out hole, and place liner, over 4 days? Hubby not keen on a pond, so planning a fate accompli for when he's away. (Added advantage that he's bringing MiL back with him, so unlikely to give me a ticking-off in front of her!) - re the slope. The soil I will be digging out will be pure sand. It holds its shape quite well, as the line of excavated sand from last year's veg beds proves. Could I use this to build up a little on the down-side of the slope? This would give a use for some of the excavated sand, and mean I don't have to dig quite so deep. - I would like it to be a wildlife pond, but I have goldfish in the water-barrel pond that is failing. Thinking of moving them to the pond, and then going "wildlife friendly" from there on in. I have yellow flag, water mint, a water sedge, a small water Lilly and a.n.other aquatic plant that would also be coming over from the barrel. If it helps, we have frogs in the barrel pond quite regularly (no idea how they get up there!), and dragonflies. - we excavated some granite cobble sets when digging the herb garden, so thinking of using them on the "upside" of the pond, with the liner going up behind them, to prevent soil seeping into the pond, and disguise the liner. They are old sets, so the stone surface was cut many years ago. Any risk of contamination into the water? The rest of the liner will probably be covered with pebbles, soil, or some of the old bricks we excavated at the same time as the sets. Again, any risk of water contamination? - at the moment I can't see a way of getting power to the pond site, although there is power about 10 metres away (electric gate motor). So the pond will have to work and be balanced without pump... Frogs, common toads, and crested newts are often found in the garden, with midwife toads in the area, and dragonflies, damselflies etc often fly through, so hoping it will establish well... All in all - Am I mad?!!!