Garden ponds inevitably attract wildlife. Constructing a garden pond will bring new life into your garden. Natural ponds still litter the British countryside and are often found in woodlands or at field edges. These result from land drainage, dug to create semi-natural overflow arrangements as field systems were improved over the centuries. Peat digging in some parts of the UK has left a network of ponds behind, now providing homes to all sorts of wildlife. On large estates and later in public parks, ornamental ponds were usually incorporated into the overall landscape design. In the last century or so, many of these semi-natural ponds have disappeared from the landscape thanks to more industrial scale drainage on farmland and the expansion of cities. At the same time this urbanisation has led to numerous structured ponds springing up in gardens around the country and this is a great benefit to wildlife.
Low maintenance and high interest
Dragonflies, damsel flies and water beetles are just some of the species that rely on pond eco-systems, and by adding a garden pond to your garden you can help to recreate habitats that are essential to save many native British species faced with the loss of their habitats. Adding a pond will not only encourage wildlife, but it is also a great way for you to teach your own children as well as yourself about wildlife, eco-systems and animal life. Different types of garden ponds will attract different types of wildlife and insects. Some species like shaded, woodland ponds while others prefer open, bright spaces; damsel flies and dragon flies will be particularly interested in ponds that are out in the open. The best wildlife ponds have variety in their depths. Different species prefer different conditions within the pond – muddy marginal plants like the shallows and provide shelter for frogs and other amphibians. Lilies and other plants that like deep water will provide shelter and food for water snails, which act like a living filtration system making your pond beautifully low maintenance.
Even small gardens with ‘micro-ponds’ will attract wildlife very quickly. In the medium to larger garden pond wildlife will soon colonise the water. The common newt and frogs will be amongst the first fascinating amphibians who live on land and water and can provide the odd jam jar of spawn for children to study their gradual development into young frogs, which can then be released back to the shallows of the pond. Birds will also soon be attracted to the new watering hole to drink and bathe.