Build a pond

You can build a pond at any time of the year, but, according to the Wildlife Trusts, autumn is a great time to build a pond because the pond gets established more quickly. What do I mean by established? That it becomes more than just a hole filled with water, and begins to turn into a thriving ecosystem.

You might think you don’t have space for a pond, but even really mini ponds can be awesome. I’m a shocker for not tidying my garden, and at various times old buckets and containers that have been left out and empty all winter have developed a thriving ecosystem by spring. But you can make a much more attractive mini pond by choosing a more suitable container and putting in a few starter plants. This video from the RSPB shows you how easily and quickly you can make a mini pond:

Ponds are great for wildlife. They provide somewhere for mammals and birds to drink, for amphibians to live and lay their eggs, and for beautiful insects like dragonflies. Dragonflies lay their eggs in water, and their young stages, called naiads, live in the pond before they eventually climb up a reed or other aquatic plant stem and morph into beautiful winged creatures. You might even get frog spawn in your pond, and then you’ll have the joy of watching tadpoles develop – slowly losing their tails and growing their legs.

So if you’ve more space, why not build something bigger. Of course, it’s essential that you make sure your pond is safe. If there are little people in your family, you need to take extra care, but a pond should be safe for wildlife too ensuring animals can easily clamber out.

The Wildlife Trusts have put together a great little booklet on making ponds which you can download below. It has information on what plants will help your pond establish, how to make your pond safe, and how to maintain your pond, and also caters for a range of pond sizes. Whether you make a tiny pond or a big pond, you can do so in the knowledge that you’re making a better place for nature.

Downloads:

Published by Louise Allcock

Professor of Zoology at NUI Galway

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