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Pond pondering

Do we think this clearing in a wooded area would suit a wild pond? I know ponds are usually best away from trees, I wasn’t sure if it would just become a swamp of leaves within a year and lots of hard work to maintain. Excited about all the wildlife it would attract though.


  • A pond in a less than ideal location is better than no pond at all in my opinion. There will be some leaves fall in it but I have done nothing with these in the years my pond has been in the garden and it is still doing a good job of supporting wildlife and it is not a deep pond. Some recommend raking some of them out. A natural pond is not supposed to be cleaned out all the time if your aim is to support wildlife with it, and as long as you're not trying to keep fish in it I don't think there is any problem in having some material decaying in the pond. This material provides a good habitat for lots of wildlife. Make sure to leave some of the sides gently sloped so anything that falls in the pond can climb out easily and something like an old log stretching in from one side can also help offer better access in and out of the water. A bucket of water from an existing established pond will help get your new pond water ecosystem off to a good start.
    Happy gardening!
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,281
    I agree the location is far from ideal, but better than no pond.
    Leaves falling in will cause a buildup of silt which is fine in moderation. So if you can make a habit of netting out as many as you can that'll be a big help.
    Fewer plants will grow in shade, but you may find some.
    Puddle Plants are good online.
    Also to prevent the pond freezing entirely make sure there's part of the pond that's at least 2ft deep.
    Happy digging! :)

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,739
    I'd agree - the site isn't ideal, but any pond is better than none, but making it deeper will help to avoid a quicker build up of foliage. The only problem with that is digging down far enough - you may need machinery.
    Plenty of plants will suit, in and out of the pond - depending on the climate. It's more likely to be dry shade for the surroundings, but you might have to experiment a bit, and might be limited in the varieties of plants. 
    Water hawthorn is a great pond plant for shade  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Agree with the above comments - if that is the only place for your pond then go ahead. These days any natural water source will help encourage wildlife.
    I do remember years ago regularly visiting a natural pond in woodland - couldn't hear yourself think for croaking frogs.
    Scooping off excess leaves can be time consuming but you can certainly leave some to build up a good sludge base in the pond.
    There is a limit to "pond management" and you will only discover your limit as your pond evolves.
    Best of luck with it  :)
    @Fairygirl - just to be awkward, I found my Water Hawthorn flowered better in a south facing site.
  • Thank you all 👍
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,739

    @Fairygirl - just to be awkward, I found my Water Hawthorn flowered better in a south facing site.
    Bl**dy typical! Since moving the pond, I'm hoping mine does well in the new site, as it's sunnier, so that's good. There's loads of seedlings anyway, so fingers crossed they'll do well as the pond matures.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,944
    A pond in shade will attract fewer dragonflies and similar, but probably won't affect the numbers of frogs.
  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,498
    How much direct sunlight does it get? It's difficult to tell from the angle of the shot as we can't see the amount of tree cover in the foreground.  If there are a few hours of direct sunlight in summer it'll be a great location for a pond, in my opinion.
    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • It gets dappled sun in the mornings. Sounds promising!
  • Our main pond does have shading from 2 pear trees and one apple tree.
    Yes they do shed their leaves in the pond in the autumn but these are taken out each winter onto the sides so that any wildlife can get back into the water.
    We do have dragonflies, pond skaters etc .
    Today it is completely frozen again.
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