Wildlife Garden Ponds

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Add a wildlife pond to your garden

Garden ponds are good for wildlife:

  • Ponds can be any size - water attracts life.
  • Wildlife ponds in a garden support a huge range of creatures
  • The UK’s garden ponds are one of our most important and overlooked wildlife refuges.
  • Our garden ponds give places of safety for aquatic species to breed and thrive.
  • We should all create as many freshwater wildlife habitats in our gardens as we can - however small the water area every little helps.
  • Add an old Butler sink or another watertight container and set it into plantings in the garden.
  • Make more wildlife ponds to replace the large number of water areas lost as farm land becomes built on.
  • Fill these new ponds with rainwater to lower the levels of nitrogen and phosphorous that come with tap water.
  • Add logs and stones nearby for hiding places as protection from predators.
  • Predators include garden birds such as blackbirds that come to the pond to drink and bathe so protective planting around a pond is a must.
  • Fish and amphibians do not thrive in the same pond. Fish will eat the young tadpoles and newt larva. Make 2 ponds!?

Wildlife that will visit your pond:

  • Water brings many sorts of life to a garden.
  • Invertebrates - dragon and damselflies, pond skaters, water boatmen, water beetles and pond snails
  • Amphibians - frogs, toads and newts
  • Aquatic creatures will colonise a wildlife garden pond by themselves.
  • It is against the law to move great crested newts and natterjack toads from their chosen habitat.
  • Leave frog spawn in the pond where it was laid.
  • Dragonfly and damselfly will breed in ponds. Their larvae live in shallow, sheltered water for some years and need submerged plants as cover and upright plants to climb up.
  • Water in the garden increases the number of birds that visit you as well as the number of aquatic creatures.
  • Foxes, hedgehogs and bats will visit to drink or feed.
  • Download the ARG Amphibian Identification Guide to help you check what wildlife visitors you have in your garden ponds this year.

Planting a pond for wildlife visitors:

  • Plant rafting pond plants for newt egg laying in the shallows.
  • Use baskets of plants on a shallow shelf as a platform for mating frogs.
  • Froglets, toadlets and newt efts leave the pond using a shallow, planted slope or by climbing on planted baskets.
  • Encourage pollinating wildlife to visit with pond plant flowers for butterflies, bees, moths and hoverflies all through the year.
  • Dragonfly and damselfly will breed in ponds. Their larvae live in shallow, sheltered water for some years and need submerged plants as cover.
  • They use tall emergent shelf pond plants to crawl up to leave the water & become adults.
  • Wildlife benefit from a well-planted area up from the water's edge to the area around the pond with bog or moist plants to hide in and under.
  • Make these habitats with good pollinating plants for air-borne pollinating wildlife like bees and butterflies too.
  • See our Tips and Advice pages on newts, frogs, toads, dragonflies and pollinating insects.

Learn more about creating a wildlife pond in your garden.