Is my pond water poisoned?

I've moved into a new house and just found a small pond under a yew tree and camellia bush.  It was sludgy and green, and I have pulled out what must be years of fallen branches, leaves and flowers.  The water seems clearer now, but very empty.  Could the yew have poisoned the water for plant and wildlife?  Should I try to empty it and start again?  I'd love to create something that actually helps wildlife come and live with me!


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICTPosts: 10,600

    I would say that the yew won't have helped! Is it a natural pond or does it have a liner?

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,244

    Under a yew and a camellia is never going to be the best place, could you move it?

  • Amanda PAmanda P Posts: 7

    It's not a natural pond.

    I was wondering about chopping down/back/moving the plants as I can't face digging a new pond!

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICTPosts: 10,600

    No, I can appreciate that! Can you give us an idea of its dimensions? How big are the trees and how far away?

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,244

    How big are the trees/shrubs, are they moveable? A natural pond is a lovely thing to have. Mine is natural in that it has no liner, but it's just ground water and becomes very low in a dry summer. Some of it is in the shade, there's not so much activity there and the pond sides are bare of vegetation apart from some sparse pond sedge and ivy

    Some things won't mind a shady pond, mozzie larvae for one (or millions) but you won't get a great variety of wildlife in there.

    Have you got a photo we could have a look at?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,692

    I once had a large deep pond one end of which was overhung by a large old yew tree - despite our best efforts no oxygenating or marginal plants would grow there - the only things that fringed it's banks were nettles and willowherb.  

    We had other ponds  on the smallholding all of which were the homes of lots of wildlife including Gt Crested Newts and frogs, with frequent marauding visits by grass snakes.  However, the only wildlife I ever saw around this pond was a pigmy shrew catching a beetle on the bank.  Even the ducks and geese weren't interested in it.  

    In every respect it appeared to be a perfectly normal pond, but the water was black and sludgy, anaerobic and dead.  The only thing I could attribute it to was the many years of yew leaves which must have poisoned the water somehow. 

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
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