Wildlife pond management
We have a small 'wildlife pond' in our school garden which has been left largely alone for some years and is starting to look a bit sad. There are a few parents keen to help resurrect it. It was originally lined, but the liner has a lot of tears in, and there are now two established trees growing through it on the waters edge. There is also a stoney bank which has got covered in silt and mud and had grass growing through it now. there is a lot of sludge in the bottom, reducing the depth to about 40cm (originally about 60 I think). What is your advice on reclaiming this for wildlife? We wanted to put a few native plants in this year to aid dragonflies etc, but I'm not sure if much will grow with so much mud and sludge increasing the nutrient level of the water? At the same time we didn't want to clear it and refill it if newts might be hibernating and the mud at the bottom was fine?