The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

By Nilnil

United Kingdom Gb

I am thinking of building a raised pond and raised beds out of reclaimed railway sleepers i intend having Koi Carp in the pond and vegetales and flowers in the beds I have been told that the creosote in the sleepers could be harmful to the fish and the plant life is this correct? if so what alternative materials would you recommend.
Thanks for your answers all of which has been very helpful, hope to speak to you all again soon.



The sleepers, by themselves, will not hold water to make a pond; therefore you will be using a plastic or fibreglass liner within them. This should act as a barrier to keep the creosote away from the water and protect the fish. Mind, I would suggest that you keep cheap goldfish for the first year before experimenting with expensive koi.
There have been many discussions on this site about creosote and vegetables. From childhood I remember seeing sleepers used as raised beds, but this was before creosote was considered dangerous. I would suggest lining the inside of the sleepers with polythene to form a barrier between sleeper and soil.

2 Mar, 2011


Or you could do what I did and buy new sleepers instead of reclaimed?

2 Mar, 2011


I have some reclaimed sleepers for over 10 years while they look good they are very slippery and downright dangerous if stepped on.
I know it has been illegal to sell/buy the old reclaimed creosoted sleepers for about 10 years so I think the reclaimed ones sold nowadays cannot have creosote in them? But you would need to check

2 Mar, 2011

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?