Big or small, ponds for all

Common frog. Photo, Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

For this year’s Wild About Gardens challenge, The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) are calling on people to put in a pond. From mini container ponds to larger sunken ponds, it’s THE garden feature that can make the biggest difference to wildlife.
Small plastic pond

A small container pond will help wildlife in your garden. Photo: Shutterstock

With much of the UK’s native flora and fauna under threat, often down to habitat loss, Wild About Gardens sees the two charities join forces to raise awareness of the importance of gardens in supporting wildlife and offer tips and advice on how to make them more wildlife-friendly. 

The UK has lost ponds, rivers and streams at a rapid rate and only a small amount of our natural ponds and wetlands remain. Many of these are in poor condition and 13% of freshwater and wetland species are threatened with extinction from Great Britain. The loss of these important places – to development, drainage and intensive farming – is linked to a huge decline in wildlife, including frogs and toads, water voles and insects.

Adding a pond – by digging one in your back garden or simply by filling a waterproof container outside your front door – is one of the best ways you can help wildlife and enjoy the benefits of seeing water plants, birds and bees close to home. Digging a pond is great for hedgehogs to have somewhere to drink and for frogs, newts and other amphibians to feed and breed. All ponds – large, small, dug or container – are good news for bats, damselflies, dragonflies, other insects.

Steve Hussey, at Devon Wildlife Trust said:

“Putting in a pond doesn’t mean hiring an excavator or hours of back-breaking digging. A pocket-sized pond will help wildlife just as well. All you need to do is fill an old sink or washing-up bowl with rainwater, plant it up with native pond plants and make sure that wildlife can get in and out – it’s easy! I love watching bright blue damselflies landing on the flag irises in my pond – they’re so beautiful and it’s great knowing I’m helping local wildlife.”

Helen Bostock, Senior Horticultural Advisor at the RHS said:

“Ponds and other water features are an attractive focal point in any garden and are a real haven for wildlife. Even cheap container ponds made from upcycled materials will quickly be colonised by a whole host of creatures and help form a living chain of aquatic habitats across the neighbourhood.”

The Wild About Gardens team is providing inspiration to get gardeners started:

 

  • Enjoy our fabulous Big or Small, Ponds for All booklet – a step-by-step guide to creating the perfect pond, large or small! Download the free booklet