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Tips For Building A Wildlife Pond

Baby frog in a wildlife pond

A lot of people these days are more aware of wanting to encourage and protect wildlife in their gardens.

One of the best ways you can do this is by incorporating a wildlife pond into your outdoor space.

Don’t be confused by a beautiful water feature or pretty waterfalls, by wildlife pond I mean a pond that attracts wildlife and doesn’t necessarily look aesthetically pleasing.

These can be as big or as small as the space you have. From a washing up bowl up to a full 10 meter pool.

I learned the hard way just before covid, when I bought a lovely but small ¼ whiskey barrel to make what I thought would be a clear, tinkling garden feature that would calm my nerves AND attract some frogs at the same time.

Small water feature or wildlife pond

I dutifully went out and bought some marginal plants, some pretty pebbles, and a solar fountain.

I was pleased with my efforts and spent the long hot summer of 2020 listening to the calming sounds of the tinkling fountain on the pretty pebbles….. But the frogs stayed away!

For 18 months I tried my best to keep the water clean and clear and the fountain unclogged from algae. It looked pretty and I loved my little water feature!

But after a couple of years, the fountain broke and the water started turning a murky green colour, the plants survived, but the prettiness faded away.

In the February the next year I noticed my pond full of frog spawn.

Large tadpoles in a wildlife pond

You see frogs don’t really like moving clean water. They prefer murky water where they can hide from predators and the algae can nourish the tadpoles.

Don’t get me wrong, if you have a lot of space, you can build a bigger wildlife pond and maybe have a small fountain at one end to keep the water aerated, especially if you have fish.

But for small wildlife ponds this isn’t necessary. If you are worried about stagnant water just buy some oxygenating plants to help.

This year my murky little whiskey barrel is absolutely teeming with frogs (we counted at least 8 in one go.)

The frogspawn is growing by the day, and I now love the fact I have attracted the wildlife into my garden. Even if it’s not aesthetically pleasing anymore.

So, before you build a wildlife pond, you need to decide what it is you really want to achieve.

Is it more of a garden feature for your own serenity and calmness, or an area of water to attract the wildlife? Hopefully, you now have the understanding that they are two very different things!

Tips for a wildlife pond

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