Devon Somerset Border Burlescombe near Wellington Taunton

Primary school pond and dipping platform wildlife project

planning the pond

planning the pond

surveying the site


plastic pipe laid around the edge of the pond

laying the liner

pond lining

finished pond

finished pond

grass around the pond edge

Learning about habitat range within a pond and Devon bank eco-system

The idea for a sustainable environmental area at Burlescombe CE Primary School came as a result of the school achieving a 'healthy school' status and aiming towards an 'eco school' status. The school was working on the theme of "The Environment" and Squirrel's class (children aged 6-8 years old) were set the challenge of creating an environmental area on a site at the bottom of the school garden.

After investigating the idea of environmental sustainability, and the range of local wildlife that was already present on the school site, the children learned about the range of habitats within a pond and a Devon bank eco-system. It was decided that these would then be included in the environmental area.

Hugh O'Connell, of UK Garden Design, kindly donated a great deal of his time to assist Squirrel's class with their project. He gave lots of advice about materials and then carried out a site survey and showed the children how to plot the features onto a scale drawing.

After the survey, the Squirrel's class visited a range of different types of environmental areas to get ideas about what they would like their area to look like. They made some designs based on the criteria they wanted to include; notably a pond, a dipping platform as well as a Devon bank. Hugh used these ideas as inspiration for a final design drawing, which he printed professionally.

All that remained at this stage was the construction! Hugh provided excellent local knowledge on specialists and contractors who provided and fitted the pond liner.

Burlescombe CE Primary School was fortunate in having great links with the staff at Westleigh Quarry who made donations of materials and supported parents with digging machinery. A supportive local builder/carpenter also made donations of his time to assist in the project.

The construction phase took less than a week and the school are now about to move forwards with planting in the area. No doubt Hugh's expertise will be invaluable once again!


Edging the Wildlife Pond and Laying the Liner

Ideally for human’s wildlife ponds require to look ‘natural’ and brimful. One way of achieving this and reduce cost is to set a pond edge under the liner with an agricultural plastic drainage pipe.


Pond Overflows

Most ponds don’t require an overflow pipe, unless there is a constant supply of running water. The wavencoil pipe edge level is fractionally lowered (without altering the peg levels) at the lowest natural ground level behind the pond for excess rainwater or stream outflow. If there is a piped overflow run the water over the butyl edge into the overflow pipe.



























Pond illustrated shows water (iced over) and dipping platform in December 2007. 5 months after making the pond – the overflow point is seen.


Garden and Landscape Designers
English Garden Design Associates