As your pond starts to wake up to Spring take a look at the surrounding area to see if you can add a 'bog garden' of muddy or moist soil around part of the perimeter to act as a wildlife haven.
It's easy to create this new habitat area for the wildlife by digging down and adding a cheap membrane with a few drainage holes to allow some water to escape. Take care to read our definitions of the difference between a muddy bog and a moist area carefully so you choose the correct plants.
This planted area will also give a great 'backdrop' look to the pond area and put it in a setting within your garden design.
Frogs, toads and newts overwinter in log and leaf piles, or beneath stones and plant pots. Some rest in the mud at the bottom of ponds. They're also fond of hiding in compost heaps, so be careful if forking over the heap.
Frogs and newts enter a state of torpor in winter, rather than hibernation, rising from their slumbers in search of food on warm days. We have had plenty of these here recently and wildlife could be tricked into breaking their slumbers earlier than usual this year.
Newts and frogs will leave their places of safety and start their search for local water only to need to scuttle back quickly under protection if we get a sharp frost.
Can you add a new planted area near to your pond that the wildlife could shelter in?
A prepared moist or muddy bog area planted around the pond perimeter would give invaluable cover from plants in Summer and if you include log piles and other bug houses within its design these would give good protection in Winter and early Spring too.
See how to add a 'bog garden' on our Tips and Advice pages.