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 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
For more ways to get involved check out some of our
favourite organisations and projects: