Wherever possible, I like to use recycled materials or create things in the garden out of materials I already have or can get hold of for very little or no cost. Some years ago, I built a small pool for birds to drink and bathe in and I used a couple of recycled tyres. It worked really well and it is now an established part of my garden and is regularly used. You can see that blog post HERE.
With the new area of my garden being developed, I had decent-sized space and decided to create something a little larger that would give three small pools, of varying depths and sizes, offering plenty of space for wildlife. I wanted a space that would offer a drinking and bathing place for birds and other wildlife, as well as creating a habitat for wildlife. I did not want to spend much money and, as I already had a small amount of plastic pond liner left over from a previous project, I was confident I could create something on next to nothing!
First stop was my local tyre centre! These places have to pay to get rid of the old tyres, so they are always more than willing to give me as many as I want. I chose the ones I wanted; one large, two medium and one small. I would use these to create the three pools, at different heights.
I levelled the ground and arranged to tyres. The two medium-sized tyres would be stacked to create the top pool, with the other two sizes creating two additional, lower pools. It is important to level each of the tyres so the water is level in each.
Once the tyre is level, you can fill it with rubble and soil to keep it steady and to create the base for your pool. Decide the shape and depth you want and fill it accordingly…
I then used some plastic tough pond liner I had left over from a previous stream project. You could use any waterproof liner. I have used a cheap tarpaulin bought from a supermarket in the past. Make sure you trim the liner larger than you think you need it as the liner drops somewhat as you fill it with water. You can always trim off the excess at the end.
Once you have the liner sorted, place soil around the tyres, right up to the top so as to hide the sides. You don’t want the tyres to show at all at the end of the project. I also used a range of old bits of wood and mossy logs to create interest and to disguise the tyres…
I kept building up the soil and packing it into all the gaps until the tyres were just about hidden…
I had bought a couple of cheap ferns and ivy from Morrisons and took some Periwinkle and ivy from around the garden. I tucked these into some of the gaps around the pools.
I filled up the pools and, finally, found some mossy sticks and pulled up some moss from around the garden. Tucking and planting it around the edges, I tried to ensure that I could not see the liner at all…
The final effect was just as I had imagined it, providing lots of different habitats..
Once the rest of the area is planted up, everything should blend in together and I don’t think it will be long before the birds pop down to take a look. I will set a Bushnell there tomorrow to keep an eye on visitors!
This cost me £7 to make… and that was just the plants I bought. The liner may cost you about £10. A great weekend project and superb for wildlife! Have a go and make sure you send me the photos of your creations! Don’t forget, you can just make one using a single tyre… this one is a little more ambitious as I had a bit more space.
I can see this from my conservatory and the robin was already investigating… I don’t think it will be long before I see the blackbird in there, taking a bath!