We built a pergola over our pond & it's helped. It not only looks good, but we've put coach lamps around it & decking. We're now putting 2 foot wrought iron fencing panels around, with openings for access. At the moment we have just 2 wooden bars all around.
We live a mile from a huge reservoir + 2 smaller ones & a huge man made lake called the Heronry, for obvious reasons. We get them over every day & occasionally they sit on the pergola, but so far we haven't noticed any fish missing.
It looks very oriental in style & everybody admires it. My Husband & his friend did all the woodwork, but we have a professional making the wrought iron.
Re; the plastic heron, the chap at Maidenhead Aquatics mentioned what Violet said (in breeding season heron can be lured by them), plus because feeding opportunities are depleting if they see a heron they are now more likely to try and feed at the same spot.
I still like the netting, and had not thought of raising to encourage frogs etc. My only worry is cats (cat central round here!). Do foxes take fish ?
I love heron by the way (although that may change !). We do get them over= not seen one recently though.
I have had this problem for years if you make the pond deep so he can't stand in it and nothing raised in middle of pond for it to stand on he cand land on water he will land in garden and walk to pond as long as he cant touch the bottom he won't get in if you put a hand rail round it
In response to your cat query - if you have a fence around the pond - it doesn't need to be more than 20cm or so in height, cats can't fish as they aren't able to 'reach' over the fence. So assuming that there's nothing within the fenced in pond that they can sit on, they won't be able to catch the fish.
And you can attach the netting to the fence. Just make sure the fence has big enough gaps for small wildlife, but no gaps bigger than a cats head - if they can get a head through, they can get the rest of them through!
Thanks for your reply, that really helps. Think I will put netting over.
It's coming on now (the digging that is), we are going to have to put a wall up one side though to support the fence (wasn't expecting that). So, a side of the pond will be to the wall, it will possibly be breeze block (unless someone can suggest anything else), with old carpet covering it, then plenty of pond underlay, then liner - anyone any other Ideas ?