wildlife pond

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One of the easiest ways to help our native wildlife, and to attract wildlife to your garden, is to build a wildlife pond.  Over 70% of natural ponds have been lost from the British countryside in the last 100 years or so, so constructing a simple wildlife pond can be of crucial importance to threatened species.

We have a tiny wildlife pond – a barrel pond, but it’s more a functional thing rather than a thing of beauty.  If you like your garden to look beautiful as well as benefiting wildlife then I’ve found six beautiful wildlife ponds, that, whatever your style, will help attract wildlife to your garden, and some tips on how to create your very own wildlife pond:

wildlife pond

By Gardenweb user Autumn

wildlife pond

Wikimedia Commons, by user Nowis

wildlife pond

By Gardenweb user joeyb5980

wildlife pond tips

By Bunny Mummy

wildlife pond

By HGTV user catnabarn

wildlife pond idea

By Gardenweb user mamasue

I love that you can create wildlife ponds out of anything, and you can design them to suit your garden and budget.  While I do like the architectural ponds, one of my favourite ones is in fact the one by mamasue.  I love that she’s used some kind of industrial container to create her pond!  I am also partial to the simple barrel pond and the no nonsense garden pond by Bunny Mummy.

Some Tips to Consider for Creating a Wildlife Pond

Try not to site your pond in full shade – wildlife prefer partial shade, and too much sunlight can cause an algal bloom which can deprive your pond of oxygen.

Autumn or winter are good times to dig and build your pond, if you’re not going down the barrel pond route.  Late Spring is the best time to plant it, when the water starts to warm up.

Avoid planting species not native to the UK.  If you’re unsure what to plant then there are lots of specialist nurseries around the UK that can supply native aquatic plants.  Do a web search to find a specialist nursery near you, or you can order plants online dependent on what’s in season.

If your pond develops a stagnant odour then it’s probably lacking in oxygen.  Try either planting some more plants in your pond or introducing a pump to get a flow of water.  Swell UK have a great range of pond pumps suitable for wildlife ponds of all sizes to help combat this problem.

Avoid introducing ornamental fish to your pond, such as Goldfish, Koi Carp, Tench, or Orfe, as they  are likely to eat the very wildlife you’d be looking to thrive in your pond.

With barrel ponds it’s crucial to create a way out for wildlife that may have found a way in.  Building up some earth on one side, or placing some rocks in there can really help animals to get out easily.

If you’re digging a pond, ideally you want one side of the pond to have a long shallow slope.  In the summer, when water levels can drop, this creates a vital habitat for insects such as beetles.  It also allows easy access and escape for frogs and toads, and other types of wildlife.

I think I’ve covered the main points, but there are so many tips out there for creating ponds!  Do you have any tips I’ve missed that you want to add to this list?

Frog image copyright Peter Trimming and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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