~How to Build a Wildlife Pond

HOW TO BUILD A WILDLIFE POND

Building a garden wildlife pond is easy if you follow some basic rules explains Peter Mills. 

A garden wildlife pond can support at least four times as much wildlife per square metre than any other garden habitat?

A well-designed garden wildlife pond is home to many creatures that come to rely on it for a place to drink and bathe throughout the year.   It is usually the hub of the wildlife garden.   Apart from the benefit to wildlife and your garden as a whole, your pond will become a source of interest as you watch nature in action.

 

FITTING A PRE-FORMED WILDLIFE POND

If you decide to use a pre-formed pond follow these simple guidelines on how to install it successfully, which plants to put in it and more.

The best location for a wildlife pond is in the open.  Avoid building directly under trees and choose somewhere that receives at least five to eight hours of sunshine per day.

Place the pond in the position you have chosen and mark the outline with rope.  Remove the pond and excavate the hole.  Make it 5 cm wider and deeper than the pond size, remembering to make sure there is supporting soil under the shelved areas.

Evenly line the excavation with a layer of damp sand and, using a spirit level, check that the layer of sand on the base is level.

Place the pond into the prepared area and use the spirit level again to check that it is completely level.  Then gradually fill the pond with water and at the same time backfill any gaps between the pond and the excavation with sand and topsoil.

Wash the gravel thoroughly before placing in the base of the pond.


PLANTING YOUR WILDLIFE POND

By planting a variety of native plants in, and around, your pond you will create a healthy and varied habitat.  

There are four main in-pond groups to establish a healthy pond: 

Oxygenators, such as elodea, milfoil and hornwort, which can be thrown in in bunches and which act as excellent spawning sites
Lilies, whose leaves spread across the pond surface to create shade;
Floating plants, such as water soldiers, and
Marginals such as water forget me not, marestail, monkey musk, spearwort, marsh marigold, brooklime, bogbean, reed mace, yellow flag iris, rushes and grasses. 

Outside the pond you can plant pretty bog plants to form a bog garden, but they must be kept moist.

Once planted your pond is now likely to attract a whole host of insects and amphibians such as the backswimmer, pond skaters, whirly gig beetles, dragonfly and damselfly nymphs, beetle larvae, snails, common frogs and newts.

You can add interest to your pond by adding some rosy red minnows or some sticklebacks.

A well-stocked wildlife pond will be quickly colonised by a range of aquatic and non-aquatic insects, which in turn attract a wide range of birds.
 

NOW ENJOY YOUR POND AS YOU HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE GOOD OF THE ENVIRONMENT