A well-designed and maintained pond is a haven for all sorts of plants, birds and animals. It is a complex habitat full of algae and plants, scavengers, predators, herbivores, decomposers and parasites. Some species spend their whole life in the pond, for instance water snails and small crustaceans, while others use it for only part of their life cycle, such as pond skaters.
A pond provides essential drinking and bathing water for birds and mammals. If you plant a range of plant species around the edge, you’ll encourage an even greater diversity of wildlife.
All ponds, no matter how small and shallow, are a danger to young children; remember to consider their safety.
Make the most of your garden
- Make your pond as big as possible – this is better for wildlife as there will be more habitats.
- Put it somewhere sunny, away from trees. Ensure some edges are shallow and sloping to allow animals easy access.
- Stock your pond with native plants from other garden ponds or garden centres. Never take plants from the wild. Insects, amphibians and invertebrates will find your pond surprisingly quickly on their own.
- Don’t include goldfish; they eat frog and toad spawn.
Of all the habitats you can create to help wildlife, a pond is probably the most effective.