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  • Bridgette Macilwaine

Creating your own wildlife pond

Adding water to your garden is a wonderful way to do your bit for the neighbourhood wildlife, as well as the fantastic benefits they bring us - peace, calming the mind, interacting with nature and relieving stress.

Information shared in coordination with Froglife and their “Just add water” pond guide.

“A third of ponds are thought to have disappeared in the last 50 years”

If ponds disappear, so does the nature and wildlife.


When creating your pond, you should give thought to whether you prefer a pre formed pond or using a liner for your space. Cut to fit liners allow you the freedom to make your wildlife pond your own shape, size shape and depth.


Whereas pre-formed ponds, easily to buy from most shops, can be quicker to install once the hole is dug and could last easily up to 20 years, the downside is that there is no scope for creativity and many are designed to house fish and therefore don’t include useful shelves for wildlife and plants


You could also think of recycling household items when making your pond, such as old bath tubs, butler sinks, half wine barrels or a sunken paddling pool, are just a few ideas.


Creating your pond:

Any size pond will be beneficial, from a small water filled bucket in the ground to a larger typical pond. Don’t be put off thinning you need heaps of money, you can spend from £5 up to £500 and spend only 2 hours or up to 2 weeks creating your pond, it’s up to you!


Plants for your pond:

Once you’ve created your pond, plants are the next addition, and most area easily available in garden shops or pond centres.


Always remember to avoid no-native plants, many of which can be detrimental to local wildlife.



The best practice is to keep local and keep native. Some garden centres are unclear about the origin of their plants, so its worth doing some research before purchasing.


Some non-native plants species you should ensure not to include:

  • Floating pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides)

  • Parrots feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)

  • New Zealand pygmyweed (Crasulla helmsii)

  • Water fern (Azolla filiculoides)

  • Curly pondweed (Lagarosiphon major)

  • Canadian pondweed (Eoldia spp)



Other additions you could include to your pond area include:

  1. Log piles and rockeries - leaving rocks and logs around the edges of the pond helps amphibians find shelter, particularly in winter, as well as dead wood attracting invertebrates which the amphibians can feed on.

  2. Lizard rockeries - south facing rockeries can attract lizards and other reptiles into gardens, this is a great chance to re-use the soil excavated from your pond.

  3. Grasses and wildflower areas - You might want to consider including a space or strip for wildflowers or herbs, this will create a more varied mosaic of wildlife habitats, particularly for butterflies and bees.

Whether you add these features for the benefit of the wildlife or to compliment your garden design, you might be surprised how much pleasure you can get from wildlife watching!

 

Thanks for reading, any questions, we would love to hear from you!


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