The Royal Horticultural Society estimates that during the past century, nearly 70 percent of ponds have been lost from the UK countryside. This means that garden ponds and water features of all shapes and sizes have an increased importance for wildlife.
Putting a pond in your garden is one of the best things you can do
to help wildlife. According to Freshwater
Habitats Trust, freshwater and wetland habitats such
as ponds, rivers and streams support about 10% of the UK's
wildlife, but cover only 3% of the country's land surface. Water is
essential for frogs and toads - they wouldn't be able to breed
without it - in turn amphibians are fantastic natural pest
managers, saving you time and money on expensive and harmful
But a garden pond will attract a myriad of other creatures too,
such as pond skaters, water boatmen, damselflies and dragonflies.
Ponds attract many airborne insects - which in turn will attract
bats, swifts and swallows. Other animals rely on ponds too -
mammals such as hedgehogs and foxes will stop by for a drink, and
birds will bathe in the water.
How to build a pond for wildlife:
You don't need a lot of space to put in a pond. Preformed ponds
are available in sizes as small as a metre wide, and are quick and
easy to install. Of course if you do have space to spare, the
bigger the pond, the more wildlife will be attracted - and a large
wildlife pond could provide a stunning feature in a big
Remember it's essential to have areas of shallow water at the
edges of the pond to protect small mammals and native plants, such
as starwort or water crowfoot, are vital to oxygenate the water and
maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
The Sussex Wildlife Trust has produced a 4-minute
by step video guide of how to create a garden
pond and provides information sheets on planting
and common problems.
For more ways to get involved check out some of our
favourite organisations and projects: