Even a small pond offers so much to a garden’s wildlife. Drinking water will prove a magnet for birds, hedgehogs, mammals, and insects such as bees. Birds will love it for bathing and bats will feed on insects attracted by the water.
A pond will provide an entirely new habitat for your garden and a home for frogs, toads, and newts, plus a new range of insects such as dragonflies, damselflies, water boatmen, and diving beetles.
If you would like to see your local wildlife then just watch your pond, most of your garden animals will visit at some point. A camera trap is a good investment too – nowadays they are reasonably priced and excellent quality.
Setting up a pond is as simple as digging a hole and installing a liner in a mainly sunny position. Your wildlife won’t mind what it looks like, so long as there are sloping edges for easy access and a reasonable depth of half a metre (or just over one and a half feet) in the middle if possible. Most of the creatures in a pond live in the surface 30cm (1 foot) of water, so make sure there are plenty of shallow edges.
It’s always best to protect the liner with a fabric underlay (available from liner suppliers), which is much more reliable than old carpet. If underlay is also laid on top of the liner the pond can be backfilled with subsoil to make it look completely natural; no liner will be visible, and plants can be planted straight into the subsoil so no need for baskets.
If you would like further free advice please contact RWG’s Chair of the Community Wildlife Team Ian Wilson on 07798784041 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ian installs wildlife ponds professionally and often has free liner offcuts suitable for a small garden pond.
Planting Suggestions for a Small Wildlife Pond
|Water lily cultivar, small
|Alisma plantago aquatica
|Water plantain, lesser
|Water speedwell, blue