- - our first wildlife pond - -              
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The size of liner needed is calculated as
LENGTH = the length of the pond plus twice the depth at the deepest point
WIDTH = the width of the pond plus twice the depth at the deepest point
measure the length and width to be a few inches greater than the outer edge of the collar.

Fitting the butyl liner

Although more expensive I strongly advise the use of a butyl liner rather than PVC

The photo shows the liner roughly fitted to the hole.  You can see the matting I used under the liner to protect it from any small sharp objects.  This is a commercial product that I bought from the same supplier as it was relatively inexpensive.
An alternative is to use carpet, newspapers or sand.

You may be curious -
Footwear was discarded while putting the liner in place as I was concerned about risk of damage.
Cushion became necessary to kneel on as the liner was incredibly efficient at absorbing the sun's heat and transferring it to me.

You can see that a small amount of tap water has been put into the pond so as to pull the liner down into the deepest points and that there are shelves on which to stand containers of water plants.  I had read that a whole range of shelf depths were needed to accommodate a variety of plants. I didn't have room and so I settled at 10" to 12"inches and I've not had any problems with various plants which seem to thrive no matter what the depth of water.  I'll tell you about plants later but for the moment take it that deeper shelves are better than shallow ones

 

Intro - Construction - Liner - Logs & Rocks - Filling - Soakaway - Life - Plants 1 - Plants 2