WHAT TO DO
ADRIAN THOMAS RSPB wildlife gardening expert It’s great that Matt’s pond is doing so well so far, but left entirely to itself, it will eventually become nothing more than a damp hollow – a natural process known as ‘succession’. So, he needs to be brutal. When more than half the surface gets covered by plants (and as the summer goes on, the plants already there will multiply again and again), pull some out, and do the same with underwater plants. Getting rid of excess growth also keeps algae down. It’s natural for the water level to rise and fall dramatically in summer, too, as evaporation and transpiration speed up, but your plants will adapt to the changing conditions, moving up and down the banks with the seasons. Wait until hatching of larvae, of damselflies and dragonflies, for example, is over, and you’ll ensure that your pond remains a wildlife haven for another year.