Wildlife ponds are a precious addition to any garden whether they are lined with a pond liner or built using natural resources.
Nearly 70% of ponds that once existed in the country-side have been lost to farmlands and urban development. This has had a negative impact of all wildlife species that depend on water sources. It is for this reason that garden ponds have a growing importance to wildlife.
However, a pond that is not well cared for can become over grown with plants and weeds. As a result the water quality is affected becoming unhealthy to fish and wildlife.
Overstocking a pond with non-native plants can also be a wildlife deterrent in addition to poor management.. It is, therefore important to look after your pond to ensure it continues to offer the best habitat for native wildlife visitors.
Building a pond to what ever size your garden can accommodate and lining it with a pond liner secured in place with edging material such as pebbles and folders is a good way to get started.
Spring and Summer are an important time for ponds. Frogs and newts will lay eggs from March and April onwards. Around this time you will also start to see pond snails, water skaters and lesser water boatmen appearing in ponds.
Here are some tips to maintain a healthy pond for wildlife:
- Trim back and thin out edging plants. This will tidy up the pond and boost healthy spring growth.
- Look out for any non-native plants. Now is a good time to remove them before they start to grow and push out those native plants that encourage wildlife.
- Skim off any excess duckweed to prevent the surface becoming clogged and choked.
- If you need to top up your pond it is best to do this with rainwater. Tap water can be too sterile and can upset the natural balance of the water. A water barrel placed under downpipes can be a good way to collect rainwater to top up your wildlife pond year-round.
- During dry spring and summer months trees and shrubs can lose some of their leaves. Skim-off fallen leaves and other debris from the surface of your pond.
- Although a few leaves can provide food and shelter for small creatures too much can cause excessive sediment in ponds which can block light.
- If your pond has become very murky over the winter you may need to give it a good clean. Empty a third of the water from your pond then gently scrape up the excess sediment from the bottom.
Keep these tips in mind when looking after your pond and you will be able to create a lush haven for wildlife in your own back garden.
If you are planning to build a water feature, why don’t you make good use of garden pond liners to create a stunning wildlife habitat in your garden for wildlife. Garden ponds are a great way to enhance all kinds of gardens and also support local natural wildlife.