Gardener's World wildlife allotment

Gardener's World wildlife allotment

This week on Gardener's World Frances Tophill visited a wonderful wildlife allotment. All planted up to encourage wildlife visitors. What an inspiring allotment!

The owner, Nadine, had built 3 ponds in this area. Just shows how important she felt adding water to any available space is!

They went pond dipping and found newt efts, a dragonfly larvae, a tadpole and some water fleas.

Ponds are important in encouraging all wildlife to visit - amphibians (newts, frogs and toads) use it to mate and lay eggs.

Young tadpoles and newts swim for the first three months or so of their lives before they gain their legs.

Dragonflies and damselflies lay eggs in water and their larvae form lives in water for years before emerging as adults that fly.

Bees and airborne wildlife need to drink as they move around the pollinating plants and birds come down to drink and bathe.

Plants in the wildlife allotment ponds:

The plants they featured in the ponds on this wildlife allotment were Caltha palustris and Mentha aquatica. We also saw on camera a waterlily, Iris plants, Mentha cervina and Typha minima.

  • The Caltha palustris has finished flowering now but would have provided early nectar for the pollinating visitors and then will cover under its leaves later in the season as the amphibians leave the pond.
  • The Mentha aquatica rafts across the pond surface providing shade shelter and protection. Later it will flower and be used by more pollinating insects.
  • The Iris and the Typha minima are useful uprights for the dragon and damselflies to climb up as they emerge.

The waterlily leaf will keep the water cool and provide hiding places for the inhabitants.

Ponds are so important in our ecosystem and as Nadine said "We really need more ponds". We couldn’t agree more.

See our Tips and Advice page for more details on how to encourage pond wildlife.