Toddlers and ponds

Now comes the great drawback of a lovely pond – small children. The six and 9 year olds can swim like fish and will love to fall in, accidentally on purpose. Toddlers are a nightmare because of the ground they can cover in a few seconds. We decided to fence off the pond from the rest of the garden, but to do it in a way that would allow rapid installation and removal, before and after visits from the grandchildren.

A section of the chicken-wire fence.

A section of the chicken-wire fence.

The materials and equipment were a 50 metre roll of 3 foot high chicken wire (cost £47), a dozen 4 foot fence stakes at £2 each, staples and a hammer.

Driving the posts a foot into the ground was enough to make the fence strong enough for small children, but easily removable. The chicken wire was stapled to the posts, which were about 6 feet apart, and where there were trees near the pond edge, it was stapled to their trunks instead. The staples were not driven home fully, so they could be pulled out again easily. A rough and ready sliding gate was made at one end, using a 4 foot by 3 foot rectangle of old plywood between two posts, to give access to the pond (though adults could just about step over the fence anyway).

To put it away, the wire is unstapled from the trees and the fence is rolled up with its posts and stacked at the end of the garden. This was made easier by building it in three more manageable sections.


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