Landscapes in the Thames Estuary near the site on reclaimed marshland on the Isle of Grain which is expected to be identified as a potential site for an airport in the Government's upcoming aviation consultation.

Grey heron deterrents for ponds

Instead of keeping goldfish, why not convert a pond into a wildlife pond with native plants and animals in areas where herons are causing persistent problems.

Ways to deter a heron

  • Netting the pond, or providing the fish with cover to hide underneath are perhaps best options.
  • Steep-sided deep ponds are less prone to herons than shallow ones which allow easy fishing, although this makes the pond less wildlife friendly (eg unsuitable for birds to bath in and a trap for toads and hedgehogs that fall in).
  • A fence-like barrier with taut wires or strings 20 and 35cm above the water surface erected at the edge of the water can prevent a heron from reaching the fish.
  • Scarers based on a trip-wire system that the heron activates are commercially available.
  • Audio scaring may be possible. Alarm call of a heron is unlikely to work on its own - a special tape is available which combines the alarm call with the sound of gunshot.
  • Human presence is as good deterrent as any. If birds associate people with danger, a human-shaped scarer may work well. It is worth reinforcing the behaviour from time to time with a real person in similar clothing walking about.
  • A plastic heron will more likely attract other herons rather than deter them.