Wildlife Ponds

wildlife ponds

Wildlife Ponds


How to bring frogs, toads and newts into your wildlife garden

 

The single most important addition to any garden to make it wildlife friendly is a pond. Ponds offer a place for wildlife and birds to drink and bathe. Even small ponds can have a big impact on a garden ecosystem.

If possible have a pond system that incorporates running water or small fountain. The moving water will catch the eye of passing birds and the sound will attract mammals during the night hours.

 

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Wildlife garden ponds FAQ:

How deep should a garden wildlife pond be?

Garden ponds for wildlife are best if they have no fish. Fish will eat all the invertebrates such as dragonfly larva that you are trying to attract. As such wildlife ponds can be shallow. At the deepest, the pond only needs to be 1 foot deep.

Remember to have a sloping side so wildlife can get out if they fall in. A sloping side also helps provide a drinking and bathing area for wildlife and birds.

 

 

 

How can I attract frogs to my garden pond?

Frogs are great in any wildlife garden. They sound fabulous and keep pest insects at bay. To increase the chances of a frog making your pond its home try the following tips:

  1. Have a sloping side to your pond which leads to a mossy area and then taller grasses
  2. Install or make a frog house. You can buy them or make one from a large upturned crockery plant pot with a hole cut out. Another solution is to have a small rockery garden with a couple of caves built-in for frogs.
  3. Include some leafy pond plants to provide shelter and cover for tadpoles and frogspawn
  4. if you have a fountain feature keep it at one end of the pond to allow still water at the other end
  5. Don't have fish in the pond which will feast on the tadpoles

It takes time for frogs to find a new pond, especially in urban areas, so have patience. But there are lots to see in even small ponds within a couple of years. There's nothing better than pond dipping with your child in your own back year.

 

Should I use gravel in wildlife ponds?

Gravel is perfect to put at the bottom of a wildlife pond. It gives a better look to a shallow pond than the black plastic shell or film. Gravel also adds lots of surface area to the bottom of the pond for good bacteria and micro-organisms to grow.

If you have small mounds of gravel and slightly larger pebbles on the bottom of your pond this can also act as a habitat for water snails and various larvae such as dragonfly and damselfly larva.

 

What plants should I put in my wildlife pond?

Fortunately, you don't have to spend money on plants for your pond if you are patient. The wind and animals will carry seeds from local ponds to yours. Very quickly natural planting will take place. This is the best option as we've lost over 70% of natural ponds in the UK over the last 10 years. Allowing natural colonisation helps to keep our native aquatic plants going.

If you want to plant up your pond quicker then please consider using native pond plants from a specialist provider.

The only important thing to think about with pond plants is to have about 65% of the pond covered with floating aquatic plants. This helps to keep the pond oxygenated and provide shelter and shade for wildlife.

 

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