Wildlife Ponds

WHY ARE PONDS GOOD FOR WILDLIFE?

Frog spawn in a wildlife pond
Frog spawn in a wildlife pond

Creating a wildlife pond in your garden adds beauty and generates interest in the landscape. Please stop and imagine creating a relaxing environment for you and the family to enjoy, think about the lovely soothing sound from a little stream which is babbling away in the background of your garden. 

However, most times most pond owners. Do not know that their garden ponds can become a great asset to the environment. 

A properly designed wildlife pond will not only add to the beauty of the landscape. But it brings back the life that humanity has choked from nature.

Parents and grandparents should get young children involved in building and maintaining wildlife ponds.  This can only help them learn about what is around them.  They will grow up and appreciate and respect the environment.

Even some traditional garden ponds offer significant relief to the local wildlife.  Traditional garden ponds have always been a haven for different kinds of beautiful pet fish. But these bodies of water with some thought can also provide a peaceful home (for the indigenous wildlife in your neighbourhood). 

Things you can find around a balanced wildlife pond.

Dragonflies, damselflies, frogs, newts and lots of birds will visit your garden if you have a nicely designed wildlife pond.  Lots of creatures will also find a beautiful, clean body of water. A great place to live, especially the juveniles stages like baby frogs and toads, which find wildlife ponds a great source of algae.

There is good evidence that small gardens play an important role in protecting freshwater biodiversity. Garden ponds do support at least two-thirds of all wetland plants. As a result of the tremendous development that our environment has experienced, a whole lot of invertebrates restricted to ponds that serve as their only safe home.

Homeowners need to understand that there is a need to accommodate the displaced wildlife, as so many amphibian species have shown a high decline around the world and most importantly local wildlife is also suffering. The availability of a wildlife pond gives back to the local wildlife, by attracting them to a place that they can breed, reproduce and also contribute positively to your home. Having a pond at home with clean and natural water can help make a huge difference for local wildlife.

How a pond will support your local wildlife.

Amphibians – Frogs & Toads

Wildlife ponds are very important to frogs that once suffered a considerable decline, especially in the 1960s. Amphibians and fishes do not cohabit, as fishes will eat up tadpoles (goldfish, koi carp and even little fish like sticklebacks). So a garden pond without any fish will be a great decision as then tadpoles will find it a great haven.  

Adult toads aids in controlling insects, this is a great reason to have a wildlife pond in your garden. Toads can eat up thousands of insects a night.  Toads in your garden will clear unwanted insects. You can trust that toads will be helping in reducing their numbers. 
Having toads in your garden means that you don’t need to endanger the environment with lots of chemicals that are used to spray against the unneeded insects; you can save time, the stress and the money.

wildlife ponds
Frogs & Toads love wildlife ponds

Birds

Your garden pond will also attract birds of different types, shapes and beautiful colours. Having them around will add to the beautiful scenery of your house. Birds do find great relief in small ponds when they can find a little branch or log in the middle of it, where they can bathe and drink some water.

bird wildlife ponds
Lots of different birds will visit a wildlife pond.

Invertebrates

Clean bodies of water provide a lot of support for a diverse variety of insects. These include pond-skaters, water beetle, freshwater mussels, harmless leeches, pond snails and so many other species with some very small that you can’t see them with the naked eye.

Garden Pond Snails
Pond Snails will eat algae!

Damselflies and Dragonflies

Some common species of dragonfly and damselfly will breed in garden ponds. Shallow and sheltered water and submerged plants provide a good space for the larvae to thrive, and they also use it as a hunting habitat. When they become adults, they will eat up insects, tadpoles, and fish fry and they also need taller plants to crawl.

Creating a wildlife pond in your garden is of significant advantage to you, and not only that but also creates such a fantastic and lifesaving opportunity to the local wildlife.

Dragonfly - Part of a wildlife pond
Dragonfly – Part of a wildlife pond

Do I need to clean my wildlife pond?

Serene wildlife ponds will not need any major or significant cleaning. If the wildlife pond is well balanced, they look after themselves. If you have a dirty or a dead body of water. Plus if you’re looking at this as a general question.

When should I clean my wildlife pond?

The best time is when the wildlife ponds are most dormant in the colder months of the year. But before you stop reading my article. We have to be very careful when claning them. The wildlife pond cleaner must not remove all of the useful resources that the aquatic wildlife needs.

The biggest problem with cleaning wildlife ponds is that it is challenging to clean them. Well efficiently anyway without damaging or removing some of the wildlife. Of course, there are sometimes excess nutrient loads or waste in the pond, so a judgement call has to be made.

How to look after a wildlife pond,

I would as a wildlife pond specialist typically perform a wclean in late November. Once all the leaves are down from the trees.  Then I would stop again once the weather warms up in March. The only problem this time of the year when cleaning is ice on the surface.

Once we get to the end of March, the wildlife is beginning to become more active once again, and you will disturb them if you perform a full drain and clean from then onwards.

One of the first signs of spring for me is when the frogs start moving.  The frogs are then followed by the toads. Mother nature is cruel this time of the year warming up then cooling down quickly at night. Lots of female frogs do not make it past this stage as they don’t feed until they have released their 30 thousand eggs. You should avoid creating too much disturbance once the mating season has begun.

It’s incredible how quickly frogs become active around wildlife ponds and gardens. Once the amphibians are active (in the margins), they should not be disturbed at all.

How to clean a wildlife pond,

The primary cleaning service of a wildlife pond is carried out in the autumn and winter months. Autumn cleaning is primarily cleaning service is so we can be removing the excess organic waste.

If pond owners have allowed leaves to build up in their ponds, then we will remove these while very carefully sorting through the waste. Returning any wildlife that could be mixed in with the sludge.

A wildlife pond specialist would not perform a sterilisation service. A lot of people tend to think that any body of water will attract wildlife, and this is correct (but the right wildlife pond specialist will be able to design you a pond dedicated to encouraging what you want and don’t want). A lot of pond contractors don’t know what everything in a wildlife pond needs. Thinking if you build it they will come if you create it with the wrong elements they will also leave!

Wildlife Ponds - Invertebrates

How to clean out wildlife ponds,

If you start again with new water (full of chemicals) or you upset the balance (unbalanced bodies of water are a lot of work), you will have to wait for months before getting the wildlife back on track. In a lot of cases, you will have far more and a far greater range of aquatic wildlife by leaving it up to the professionals.

Why is my wildlife pond green,

It is not uncommon for wildlife ponds to go green in the spring as the algae proliferate. Green water  is nothing to worry about and is just part of the natural cycle. The invertebrates that eat the algae will increase in numbers only once the algae are multiplying. Algae are at the bottom of the food chain, they are single-celled plants that are the life-blood of the pond ecosystem.

Green wildlife pond water is a sign that the algae are increasing in density. in the coming weeks as the other plants start to spring into life the spring algae bloom will clear. Then the water will mature and begin clearing up somewhat as the invertebrate numbers catch up and the wildlife-friendly pond plants use up the nutrients in the pond.

So to recap, only try to remove excess waste in the autumn and try not to be too thorough. The most important thing is preventing excess plant litter entering the pond in the first place.  This will often mean that major wildlife pond cleaning is not required, or needed only infrequently.

How to maintain a wildlife pond. At this time of the year, what is a wildlife pond specialist doing, you may ask!

Things to do around a wildlife pond in the Spring
Allow mother nature to shine, watch and learn
Harvesting rainwater to prepare for the dry spells in summer,

How to maintain a wildlife pond in the Summer
A light amount of algae removal,
Avoid adding tap water as all this does is feed the algae.

How to clean a wild life pond in the Autumn
Tidy up the wildlife pond, detail trimming of all the plants (apart from the evergreen ones),
Autumn is the best and the only time to remove sludge

How to keep wildlife pond healthy in the Winter
Keeping an eye out, its a standard time of the year for pond cover nets to start sagging, as the snow is burdensome,
Keep these tight or pitched like a tent or even better remove the pond cover nets,
Remember to fish out the last of the fallen leaves out of your wildlife ponds,
The water will be super clear this time of the year so you can see all the waste,

What can we do for you?

We have over the years created a whole host of wildlife ponds, from small container wildlife pools to great big farm ponds. Even the smallest of bodies of water is an absolute magnet for all sorts of wildlife. It’s a complete mystery to most people where these creatures come from and how quickly they arrive. As we expand our concrete jungles, we must do our bit for our British dragonflies and other aquatic wildlife.

Mark is very experienced in wildlife ponds (30 years in fact). Mark has built dedicated dragonfly ponds for all of our local still water dragonflies (four main species). These will grace your garden ponds, providing you give them everything they need to shine.

Other projects we have been a part of,

  • The transformation of garden fish ponds into beautiful water gardens, without any filters,
  • Wildlife pond surveys and dragonfly walks,
  • Wildlife pond consultations with written articles backing up the specialist management,
  • School wildlife pond projects with safe access and pond dipping platforms,
  • Wildlife pond construction and installation of large and small wildlife ponds (even micro),
  • Renovation work of new and old wildlife ponds,
  • Supplying wildlife pond plants,
  • Wetland filtration systems with intake bays and skim coves that are safe for all sorts of wildlife,

If you want more aquatic wildlife in your space reach out to us here at Any Pond Limited! Lets us help you dream about ponds and water features.

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