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Wildlife Pond Tips

Here are a few great tips to help you make the best wildlife pond possible for your garden.

Location

Partial shade, with some sunlight and shade during the day. Locating your pond near a fence or shed can help protect it from extremes of cold in winter, and heat in summer. Positioning directly underneath an overhanging tree isn't ideal, as the pond could become full of fallen leaves.

Water

It is best to fill your new pond with rainwater, although you can use tapwater. Filling with rainwater can be done by using water collected in rainwater butts, or if you don't have any simply let it fill naturally from rainfall. If you make a pond in late summer, it will fill with rainwater over the autumn and winter. If you are installing in summer fill with tapwater, and wait a couple of days to add the aquatic plants after chlorine from the water has evaporated.

Plants

Planting some plants, such as marsh marigold or lady’s mantle, around the pond edges will give some cover for frogs, toads or newts. The ponds surface should be 50% free of pond plants such as water lillies, so there is some light for submerged plants. Water lilies are grown in pots that are placed on the ponds base, and the leaves and flowers float. Submerged plants grow totally underwater. These are great for creating oxygen in the pond.

Frogs, Toads and Newts

It's a good idea to add some old logs, and upturned stone slabs amongst the pond edging plants which amphibians like to shelter under.

Depth

If you are using pondliner a depth of approx 30cm / 1ft is ideal.

Safety

If the garden is used by young children it is essential there is a fence with secure gate around the pond area, so they cannot get near the pond unattended. Leave a small gap at the base so amphibians can access the pond.

Bog Garden

A nice feature next to a pond is a bog garden, planted with native marshy plants. You can create boggy ground be digging about 20cm depth then adding some liner then covering it with soil. This will create poor drainage and make the soil waterlogged; your own mini wetland.