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Wildlife pond, two questions

We dug out this wildlife pond in June and it's unfinished but 'getting there':


 As you can see, there are lots of trees and shrubs around it, so we should net it for the next couple of months. But my husband thinks that hedgehogs could get caught in the netting, and we're not around 24/7. Also it would completely squash the vegetation (which will probably die down anyway, so is that relevant?)

Also, when we built it, I spend ages researching optimum features for wildlife, the right plants, avoiding the wrong plants etc, but despite the number of blogs I read which had people - even in the centre of London - having newts, frogs etc visiting almost as soon as it was filled, all we've had so far are pond skaters, a couple of whirligig beetles, a diving beetle and birds drinking/bathing (but we had a birdbath before this, so that's not new). Different sources say to 'seed' a wildlife pond with a bucket of water from a wild pond (I don't know anyone with a wildlife pond to get a bucket from), others say definitely not to do this. Do you think the lack of wildlife is just because of doing it in summer, and next Spring, the wildlife will come flooding in?


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,304

    I lay chicken wire over our pond to catch the falling leaves - it's better than soft netting as the hedgehogs and birds don't get tangled, and as it's fairly rigid it's easier to lift it up and shake the leaves off from time to time.  It's just a bit more bulky to store, but I also use it over seedbeds to keep cats off, so it's multi-functional image

    I think that next year your pond will be full of creatures - it looks lovely.

    I've found that having plants on the bank right up to the edge of the water encourages frogs and newts - it hides them from the birds when they leave the pond - the frogs like to sit most of the summer day in the long grass and Creeping Jenny on the fringes of our pond, just popping in for a dip every now and then, so if you could plant some creeping plants between the slabs around the pond that would be good  image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    a bucket of bottom goo from an established pond can help, it introduces critters that can take forever to get to new pond

  • A couple of years ago I completely emptied and scrubbed all the liner of my pond, with a view to getting rid of the blanket weed.

    It's now back to how it was, blanketweed and all, but there are all sorts of organisms in there too, leech like creatures, ones that look like tiny shrimps etc. The point is that if you just leave it, it will form it's own ecosystem, I shouldn't be too worried about leaves falling in, they sink and rot down and provide food for the critters.

  • RedwingRedwing SussexPosts: 1,315

    I agree that you will get lots of creatures coming in by next year.  I think you are doing really well so far to have birds coming in to drink already.  Adding a bucket of pond mud from a healthy pond will certainly speed things up.  Also if you know anyone with frogspawn next spring, adding that will be good too.  

    Which plants have you planted?

    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • I think it's amazing how ' things' find new pools. By next spring I think you will find it is healthy. Taking water from another pond sounds dodgy to me. Guess it depends on the health of the donor pond.

  • Forgot to say the pond looks very attractive.

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,145

    It's lovely, but I would definitely  take up say every third slab and let the grass grow long and plant some reed like plants, if you want a wildlife pond, you have to let it grow wild.

    usually slabs all round are for an ornamental pond. If it grows up a bit, by next Spring you will find all sorts in there.

    We dug ours about July last year, this Spring it had frogspawn, baby newts pond skaters, diving beetles, etc. But they do need cover when they want to get out. Have you made a beach area so tiny creatures can easily walk out.

    This is ours one year later, you will be surprised how quickly they establish.





    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Liz88Liz88 Posts: 40

    Some of the plants in /around the pond are: frogbit, water hawthorn, water lilies (bad year for them!), water soldiers, water mint (don't know where they went!), water forget me not (doing really well!), water speedwell, water avens, golden creeping jenny, water starwort, Water violet, Ragged Robin (pink and white), hornwort, Arrowhead, Slender club rush, corkscrew rush, musk sedge, Blue Pickerel, Small Reedmace, Marsh Margold, flowering rush, water starwort, Mare's tail (Hippuris vulgaris).

    We don't have 'lawn grass' anywhere in the garden, front or back. When we started "doing something with the garden" I wanted a clover lawn but my husband asked where was the lawnmower going to go, which was the winning argument! That grassy-looking bit at the far end is a mixture of old lawn remnant and weeds. Now hubby is asking where would a net or chicken wire structure go for the rest of the year and I have no answer to that either. I haven't worked out how to store our wheelie bins neatly and conveniently.

    Yes, down the far end there is a 'beach' of little slate chippings (well washed), and a log pile, and at the near end a branch slopes into the water. Also that clump of grass in the middle is on an upturned bakers basket, on which there is a big stone, just under the surface (we're going to look for a bigger stone to replace it).

    Thanks for the encouragement, everyone!

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