wildlife friendly garden ponds

Ponds can make a major contribution to wildlife in your garden. It can provide a habitat for amphibians, dragonflies and other animals that need water in their habitat. Other animals like birds and hedgehogs can use a wildlife pond as bath and drinking place. But what is the difference between a wildlife pond and an ordinary pond? A wildlife pond was built with helping wildlife in mind. This is done by imitating a natural situation as much as possible. Natural, sloping banks and indigenous plants are used and chemicals avoided. It is also important that the pond gets a reasonable amount of sun.

The pond shape

A wildlife friendly pond in Stockton Bury.

The ponds edges

Bog gardens

The shape of a wildlife pond is irregular. This creates different natural habitats for aquatic plants and animals. Avoid straight banks or corners. Try to let the sloping pond edges gradually run over into the garden. Do this by making use of rocks, gravel or plants. A well-functioning pond is at least 80 cm deep, but 1.5m is even better. When a pond is not deep enough it warms quickly which causes algae bloom. The result is a pond which has completely overgrown and has no oxygen in the water. Deeper parts also don’t freeze during the winter, protecting fish. 

The banks contain the shallow areas of the pond. For animals it's nice to make a little 'beach' from pebbles. Here animals like hedgehogs and birds can bathe and drink easily. The beach does not have to be large, as long as the gravel forms a slope that gently runs into the water. These beaches are also excellent places to place plants which grow in clumps. These plants will provide shelter to animals.

A bog garden is a garden where the moisture is permanently kept extremely high so that water-loving plants grow well there. This can easily be constructed next to a pond by extending the pond liner a few meters underground at the ponds edge before it rises. This ensures that the water of the pond easily flows into this part of the garden and thus keeps the soil moist at all times. In these gardens unique plants can be placed. Carnivorous plants or uncommon flowers are possible, and can give tour garden a beautiful and unique look. A bog garden offers plenty of habitat for aquatic animals and also takes nutrients from the water which reduced algae growth. Marsh Gardens can also be placed as thinner areas along edge of the entire pond, instead of in one large location.

A wildlife pond with a small gravel beach.

Een belangrijk deel van de oevers moet bestaan uit ondiepe waterdelen met oeverbeplanting en wellicht enkele rotsen. Planten als rietsoorten, Gele lis of Grote kattenstaart kunnen in groepen geplaatst worden. Deze planten bieden beschutting en voedsel aan dieren en filteren het water. Om deze beplanting te plaatsen kunnen beplantingsmatten of kokosmatten gelegd worden. Deze bieden houvast aan planten en breken over tijd op natuurlijke wijze af. Ook kan de vijver zo gevormd worden dat een opgaande wand langs het diepe deel opgevolgd wordt door een luwte waar ook planten geplaatst kunnen worden.

Enkele voorbeelden van moerastuintjes.

This pond has beautiful banks so that animals can easily get in and out of the water. It also has good water-loving plants. But the pond is too shallow. The result is that algae begins to accumulate in the pond, as seen in the photo.

Waterlife gardens

Bird friendly gardens

Bee amd butterfly gardens

Hints and tips for an eco-garden

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