Over the last fifty years, a third of our ponds have disappeared mainly due to urbanisation. As land has been reclaimed for the expansion of towns and cities, ponds have been sacrificed. Understandably this has impacted on the wildlife that rely on them, mainly frogs, toads and newts. The Common Toad has seen a 68% decrease in its numbers.
There are many other different species of wildlife that use ponds too, birds for drinking and bathing, bats will feed on the insects found swarming above their surface, and foxes, badgers and hedgehogs may use them as a drinking spot.
It doesn’t matter what time of year you make your pond or the size of it.
If you follow my Instagram account you may have seen the recent reel that I posted regarding the building of our new wildlife pond. It is situated at the bottom of our garden in a semi-shaded spot and near some shrubbery. The shade will prevent too much evaporation in the summer months and the shrubbery will provide camouflage and a place to hide for any visitors we may get.
The next stage is to add in some features. I have some old roof ridge tiles (thanks Storm Eunice!) which I am going to place around the pond as somewhere for toads, newts and frogs to hide in and stay cool. Then I want to create a log pile, again a useful place for any wildlife to hide in and also put in a branch for the dragonfly to rest on. Finally there will be some planting. I have decided to use our trusty Seedball mixes to create an area of wildlife flowers and give the pond a fully natural and wild feel.
If you don’t have a large space for a pond it is still possible to create an area for wildlife. Just look at this amazing pond that the lovely Sara from @Seedball created using an old baby bath! As you can see from the centre photo below, she has already had some very happy visitors!
Just use a large watertight container and either dig a hole to sink it into the ground or leave it on the top of your chosen area. Digging it into the ground does means more wildlife will be able to access it but its not essential. Next put a layer of gravel in the bottom and place a selection of bricks or logs on top to create steps so that wildlife can climb in and out easily. Fill your pond, (preferably with rain water) and then plant some native aquatic plants particularly oxygenators. Not too many though as you don’t want your pond to be overcrowded.
Then sit back and wait! Generally pond creatures have a very good radar for locating a pond and making it their home so don’t feel the need to collect pondlife from elsewhere, just have a little patience.
Creating a small wildlife pond in your garden can help a multitude of species and is one of the single best features for attracting new wildlife too.
Don't forget to use the hashtag #nbc rewilid and tag @thenaturebugclub if you try this activity as part of our Rewilding Challenge.