Even with this cold start to the year your pond should be showing signs of new life now the sun has arirved - frog and toad spawn and newt efts. A wildlife pond should not contain fish as they will tend to eat these young.
Young amphibians need places to hide - give them protection from birds by having plenty of plants under the water and cover across the surface.
Waterlilies are on their way to the top of the water too and will soon give even more cover - necessary as the sunshine gets warmer to keep the pond water temperature cool. In the meantime check your pond water level as it could evaporate by 2"(5cm) in a week in warm or windy conditions. Fountains and waterfalls can quickly empty a small pond on a windy day - turn off temporarily if necessary and refill with rainwater if possible.
This is also the time of year when duckweed and green algae blanketweed may begin to reappear. Duckweed (the 3 lobed leaf with a thread thin root) seeded down last Autumn will rise up to carpet the water surface and should be removed using a net as soon as it appears.
Blanketweed is like green cottonwool and can start to grow quickly in the warm weather of Spring especially if you had large volumes of frog spawn jelly decomposing into the water. Adding a barleystraw product in February/March will be having an inhibitor effect by now. If you are a regular user of a barleystraw product - either extract or straw - you may wish to write to your MP about the impending ban of its use by its inclusion in the Biocide Regulations from the EU. A draft letter has been put on the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association website for your use.
Small amounts of blanketweed will be eaten by tadpoles and will later be overcome by waterlilies and other cover plants if you have sufficient of them. Try not to twist blanketweed around a stick to remove it from the pond as that traps wildlife inside the twist and even leaving it in a pile on the pondside will not allow the creatures to get out. Unravel it and shake it straight away to dislodge the trapped creatures.
We have had queries about where to position different species of Iris plants. Iris laevigata, Iris pseudacorus, Iris versicolor and the Louisiana Iris will all sit on the shelf in a pond with water over the crown of the plant. Iris pseudacorus will take more water than the others but check in the 'planting details' for each plant because most of those will also cope if you plant them in a boggy or moist soil. The wildlife value of these emergent Iris is that they will allow dragon and damselfly larvae to use the tall leaf growth to climb up and out of the pond water to emerge as adults.