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.

Wildlife Friendly Ponds
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 pesticides.

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 garden.

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 step by step video guide of how to create a garden pond and provides information sheets on planting and common problems.

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