In order to create a welcoming space for wildlife you need to choose a site where wildlife can easily access the water but also have shelter and cover whilst doing so.
Once you pond is built and filled you need to make sure your pond has plenty of places for wildlife to hibernate nearby; leaf mounds, dense vegetation, log piles or loose soil will all make perfect sites. You can buy specific houses but leaving some areas a little unkempt and importantly undisturbed will make welcome winter retreats for amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
Follow these simple steps when setting up your wildlife pond;
Have a good volume of Oxygenators in your pond, these plants release oxygen into the water through photosynthesis, they also use up free nutrients that otherwise algae would use. We recommend 2 to 3 bunches per sqm and an ideal amount is 30% of the volume of the water. Oxygenators are available throughout the season and we stock many native varieties.
Create a gentle slope to your pond on at least one side, this enables wildlife to enter and exit the pond safely and also will encourage mammals to come and drink. You want to provide some cover around this area so mammals, birds and amphibians feel safe and sheltered. You could plant low growing plants here such as Bog Pimpernel or Creeping Jenny to provide some cover for emerging frogs, toads and newts.
It is important to have a good stock of marginal plants in your pond, these will not only provide cover for wildlife visiting your pond but will encourage insects such as Bees, Dragonflies and Butterflys to visit the pond. Marginal Plants will sit around the edge of your pond and are happy to have their pots covered with water, the depth will vary depending on the variety.
A selection of our preferred marginals can be found in our Creating a Wildlife Pond Collection - Click Here.
Waterlilies and Deep Water Plants can be used to shade the water during the hot summer months, helping to keep the water cool and prevent algae blooms. Their large floating leaves and pads provide resting places above and below the surface. Waterlilies need full sun and do not like moving water so make sure you keep them away from any fountains or waterfalls. Deep Water Plants are more tolerant of shade and movement.
Floating plants will also provide shade and resting places too, they are free floating plants so come un-potted and just need to be placed on the water's surface. They come is a variety of sizes and shapes.
You may decide to plant a bog garden around you pond or just on one side, this area will provide shelter to amphibians whilst they are hunting for food. Plants such as Hostas, Ferns and Primulas can be planted here, if you have the space a large Gunnera looks fabulous. All of these plants can be found in our Moisture Loving Section.
In order to minimise algae blooms your pond needs to be stocked well with Oxygenators, Marginals and Deep Water Plants and or Floating Plants. A well stocked pond will have very few nutrients for the algae and the shade provided by these plants will help cover the waters surface reducing the amount of light and heat that the algae need to reproduce.
For information on Planting your Pond and planting quantities - CLICK HERE
For information on Frogs and Toads - CLICK HERE