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How much does it cost to build a wildlife pond?
Wildlife ponds are a great way to add some excitement into your garden and boost local biodiversity. The question though; how much does it cost to build a wildlife pond?
In order to answer this fundamental question we need to price two scenarios; building the pond yourself or hiring a company. In each case we will seek to find a price per square metre for the average project.
For building the pond yourself we will break down all the associated costs of waste, materials, rocks and plants. And for hiring in a landscaping company we will overlay average labour costs.
Firstly to do this we will have to establish what the size of the average wildlife pond is.
How large is the average wildlife pond?
When building a pond it is important to consider the optimum dimensions for a successful project. The best way to keep the water clear and free of algae is to prevent temperature fluctuations.
The optimum way to do this is have a deeper pond with a larger volume of water. The larger the ponds volume the more stable the aquatic temperature will be.
Wildlife ponds can collect large amounts of organic material over time. This can clog up and suffocate shallower ponds after a few years. Ensuring a generous depth will allow a sump zone which can be cleaned out every few years and keep the shallows clear.
Therefore the ideal depth of wildlife pond will be around 1 metre in the centre with shelves of varying heights. Gentle slopes should meet the water’s edge to allow easy passage for wildlife.
The average surface area of a wildlife pond will normally be constrained by the size of the average garden.
The vast majority of garden wildlife ponds are smaller than 4 square metres. However the average size of wildlife ponds we are asked to build are around 6 square metres. So a hypothetical water surface area would be 3 metres by 2 metres.
Therefore the average wildlife pond has a surface area of 6 square metres and should have a central depth of between 800mm - 1 metre.
How much does it cost to build and fill a 2m x 3m x 1m wildlife pond?
The main costs of building such a wildlife pond will include the labour, dig out disposal, pond liner and underlay. I will break down the associated costs with and without landscaping labour rates. Consequently if you are building the pond yourself you can just see the material costs.
How much will it cost to plant the pond with wildlife friendly plants?
Below we have selected ideal pond plant species in the correct planting quantities for such a sized pond. For more information on the best plants for a wildlife pond visit our article on the subject here.
How much will it cost to decorate my wildlife pond with rocks?
Rocks come in a wide range of geology, colours and forms from slates to sandstones. Typical rockery rocks range in diameter from 250mm – 450mm and cost around £5 each.
An average number of rocks to decorate a 6 square metre pond is around 20.
If you wish to hire a company or professional landscaper to carry out the work we have provided a guide to labour rates here.
Like all projects a contractor will work out a total price based on many factors. These will include site access, difficulty, profitability and risk.
Average hard landscaping hourly rates are around £25.00 per hour. A project of this size with no digging machinery would normally take a single landscaper about a working week (5days). This would come to a total of £1,000.00 labour.
The cost of building the average pond yourself
Therefore to build wildlife pond 6 square metres by 1 metre deep yourself would cost around £630.00 (£105 per sqm)
Planting would cost around an extra £135.00
Rocks would cost around an extra £100.00
That’s a total cost of £865.00 (£144 per sqm)
The cost of paying a landscaper to build your pond
To employ a landscaper to build a wildlife pond 6 square metres by 1 metre deep would cost around £1,630.00 (£272 per sqm)
Planting would cost around an extra £200
Rocks would cost around another £150
That’s a total cost of £1,980.00 (£330 per sqm)
Thank you for reading our article on how much it costs to build a garden wildlife pond. If you found it useful why not share it to inspire us to write more helpful articles.
If you want to hire a landscaper to design and build your pond like the example in this article please contact me here.
If you are building your own wildlife pond why not read 'How to create a wildlife pond' By Kate Bradbury below
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Paul Nicolaides has over 30 years of recreational gardening and 20 years of professional landscaping experience. He has worked for landscape contractors including design and build practices across London and the South East. In 2006 he qualified with a BA Hons degree and post graduate diploma in Landscape Architecture. In 2009 he founded Ecospaces an ecological landscaping practice which aims to improve social cohesion and reduce climate change through landscaping. In 2016 he founded Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners which designs and builds gardens across Buckinghamshire and the South East. This blog aims to provide easy problem solving information to its audience and encourage others to take up the joy of landscaping and gardening.