Choose a site to build a wildlife pond where the creatures will feel secure.
Siting the wildlife pond:
- Place a wildlife pond in a secluded part of the garden.
- Try not to place your wildlife pond under trees as the falling leaves will give you a maintenance problem in Autumn.
- Try and surround it on one or more sides by planting from a moist habitat, bog garden or hedgerow that will give the amphibians cover and protection from birds and other predators as they look for food.
- Amphibians return to the pond water to mate and lay eggs after winter hibernation on land in wood piles or under garden buildings. They will make a number of journeys in and out of the water in a season so plantings of uncut foliage will link these areas together.
- Patios, tarmac drives, fences all divide up the natural garden and make wildlife journeys more hazardous so avoid placing the pond near these.
- Leave gaps under fencing between properties to allow wildlife to wander naturally.
Build a pond profile with different depths of shelving:
- The pond should be built to a depth of no more than 45 – 60cm (18″ – 2′ ) – shelf
- Plant shelves at different depths – 15cm (6″) for shelf and 30cm (12″) for shelf plants.
- Make the shelves as wide as possible and curved differently to the outline of the pond’s outer edge.
- Do not build a thin rim of shelves 6″ wide evenly around a larger surface area of deep water as this will be unbalanced when you come to plant.
- Have one half of the pond surface area as different width shelf planting areas with most to the shelf at 6″ deep
- Dig one half to the deepest water depth which can be offset from the centre of the pond.
- Place the pond plants on the shelves in their baskets and the pond wildlife will use these as ‘stepping stones’ to climb out.
- Your pond should have easy access for wildlife so create sloping sided areas away from the flat level of the first shelf.
- In between the cobbles covering this sloping area use pond plants that enjoy water at their roots but not too much water over their crowns to give habitat cover.
- Choose Caltha palustris Alba, Veronica beccabunga, Juncus ensifolius or Cyperus eragrostis.
- Or create a pile of stones or rocks near/on a shallow stony beach where creatures can quickly find shelter.
For more details on plant selection for your wildlife pond see the next section or click here