Dig a pond

A wildlife pond is one of the single best features for attracting new wildlife to the garden.

Ponds bring with them a wealth of wildlife, attracting birds and mammals for a drink and creating the perfect habitat for a wide variety of invertebrates and amphibians. You would be amazed how quickly wildlife finds a new pond - dragonflies and damselflies can arrive within hours.

Some amphibians, such as frogs, are now more common in garden ponds than in the countryside. Many pond creatures will travel quite a distance to find new ponds.

A successful pond needs sloping sides to ensure hedgehogs do not get caught in the pond and drown, and a deep centre, two feet at least, in order that your pond life can survive in winter. It will host a huge variety of creatures from dragonfly larvae, water skaters, diving beetles to frogs toads and newts. Creating varying levels in the pond ensures you can introduce marginal and deeper growing plants.

Ponds are one of the richest environments in a garden particularly if you edge a side with stones and allow another side to develop rough, long grass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stones on one edge will create somewhere for dragonflies to alight plus damp places for invertebrates and amphibians such as newts to hide under. The longer grass will allow safe passage from your pond into the rest of the garden.

Pond plants are also important to bring in oxygen, filter the water and allow larvae to climb up on their way into their new lives. They can also be stunning to look at – our native pond plants are really beautiful additions to the garden.

Avoid non-native plants as we have such a wonderful variety of British plants and by their nature pond plants are good at spreading and invading out into other territory. Non-native wetland plants such as Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam are two examples of mistakes made by gardeners before us.

Creating a bog as well as or instead of your pond creates even more habitat for wildlife. You can achieve this by digging out about two inches of soil, sinking non permeable pond lining, puncturing this slightly with a fork and then back filling it with soil. This extends the choice of plants and you end up with a gentle transition between pond and dry garden. It also creates a corridor for amphibians and insects.

When thinking about siting the pond, ensure it is not under trees otherwise it will rapidly clog up with leaves. Make sure that it’s somewhere fairly secluded so that your pond wildlife feels secure.

Have you pledged to dig a pond yet?

Download our 'how to' guide below.

 

Downloads

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dig_a_pond_bilingual.pdf3.76 MB