Pile on the ponds

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

Here be drag­on­flies

Cre­at­ing a small pond can do won­ders for wildlife in your gar­den bring­ing am­phib­ians, plants and drag­on­flies Spawn again:

HAV­ING a small pond in your gar­den pro­vides a home for an abun­dance of wildlife. The win­ter months are the ideal time to cre­ate one as it will fill up with rain­wa­ter ready for plants and wildlife in the spring.

Al­low frogs to dis­cover your new pond for them­selves yel­low flag iris or flow­er­ing rush, can be used by emerg­ing dam­sel­fly and drag­on­fly nymphs climb­ing out of the water.

Avoid in­tro­duc­ing frogspawn from other ponds; frogs, toads and newts will find your pond and pop­u­late it them­selves.

Don’t in­tro­duce fish ei­ther, they will feed on drag­on­fly lar­vae, tad­poles and frogspawn. Frogs don’t spend all their time in ponds, so now’s a good time to think about the rest of your gar­den as well. Damp areas, stones and piles of logs give frogs places to hi­ber­nate dur­ing the win­ter months.

When you’ve cre­ated your pond, sit back and wait to see the wildlife that comes. And re­mem­ber, you’ve made a real dif­fer­ence to your lo­cal wildlife!

Find out more about ponds, in­clud­ing how to cre­ate a ‘sink pond’ in small gar­dens, and pond wildlife at www. bbowt.org.uk/ponds

Ac­cord­ing to the Fresh­wa­ter Habi­tats Trust half the UK’s ponds were lost in the last cen­tury and most of the re­main­ing ponds are in a poor state. By cre­at­ing a wildlife pond in your gar­den you can make a real dif­fer­ence to the wildlife that de­pends on them to sur­vive.

Ponds sup­port a greater di­ver­sity of wildlife than any other gar­den habi­tat. As well as at­tract­ing wet­land wildlife such as frogs, dam­sel­flies and newts, ponds pro­vide a source of fresh water for birds and small mam­mals.

You don’t need a big gar­den to en­joy the ben­e­fits of a pond – even a tiny pond made from a bucket or old Water ways: sink will at­tract wildlife and pro­vide a re­fresh­ing pit stop for birds.

A dug pond takes a bit more work, but is a beau­ti­ful ad­di­tion to a gar­den and sup­ports a wide range of wildlife. Be­fore cre­at­ing a pond, con­sider whether it would be ac­ces­si­ble to young chil­dren in case it presents a dan­ger to them.

Lo­cate the pond away from trees, which will drop leaves that ‘choke’ the pond. Add va­ri­ety to the depth and shape of the pond: frogs and other am­phib­ians like a com­bi­na­tion of slop­ing sides and shelved areas. And re­mem­ber to use a pond liner to stop the water drain­ing away!

Once you’ve dug your pond rain­wa­ter is the clean­est water source avail­able for fill­ing gar­den ponds. Col­lect­ing it in water butts and other con­tain­ers can take time but is worth it. Don’t use tap water as it is treated with chem­i­cals and has ex­ces­sive nu­tri­ents which can cause al­gae.

A va­ri­ety of na­tive plants grow­ing in dif­fer­ent water depths and in dif­fer­ent den­si­ties around your pond will cre­ate a var­ied habi­tat.

Dense plant life, such as water mint or water for­get-me-not, in shal­low water are ideal for frogs to hide in. Tall plants, for ex­am­ple

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