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Aquatic Habitats

Pond Design & Construction

PENNINE ecological provide a complete design and construction service in relation to any work involving ponds.

We design amphibian / wildlife friendly ponds typically in relation to mitigation for developers and as part of great crested newt licence work. However we can also provide the same service for any individual or organisation wanting to create a wildlife pond.

The ideal locations for new ponds are within existing ground depressions or hollows which overlay clay – ideally high density puddling clay. Where this is not the case we use specialist bentonite liners. This high density fine clay material is impregnated within a matting system which is installed through the use of a specialised rig. Careful ground preparation is required before laying a bentonite matt layer onto a blinding layer of sand to prevent large sharp objects puncturing the liner. A thin layer of soil is then placed on top of the liner, before filling with water.

A bentonite liner has many advantages over artificial pond liners such as butyl. Bentonite absorbs water and swells to several times its particle size when immersed. This allows hand planting of native aquatic plants directly into the liner which is self-sealing when submerged.

We can supply most native aquatic plants which are propagated from native stock in aquatic nursery beds.

In addition ponds are better located in an open field situation with minimal shading. Dense shade cast by trees or tall vegetation reduces light infiltration which in turn reduces oxygen levels. Excessive leaf litter falling into ponds decreases oxygen levels in the water, and can create lifeless anaerobic conditions and deep layers of organic debris.   

We also undertake pond conservation management and restoration including deepening, vegetation clearance and thinning of both aquatic plants and bank vegetation.

Example contracts include

  • Manchester Airport

    Pond restoration (5 ponds restored) works for a Natural England great crested newt development licence associated with Runway 2.   

  • Chorley Borough Council

    Hic Bibi LNR: Creation of 3 new great crested newt ponds under a Natural England great crested newt Conservation Licence scheme.

  • BAE Systems, Samlesbury Aerodrome

    Creation of 2 new great crested newt ponds and several wet bird scrapes under a Natural England great crested newt licence associated with site development. Planting of several hundred pot grown native aquatic plants suitable for newt egg laying.

  • Hurstwood Group, Bolton Primary Health Care Trust development, Bolton

    Creation of new wildlife receptor pond using a bentonite liner for a large population of palmate newts. Planting of over 150 pot grown native aquatic plants suitable for newt egg laying.


    Mechanical & hand clearance of vegetation from two great crested newt ponds under Natural England conservation licence


Aquatic Habitats Gallery