Forum home Wildlife gardening

Ponds with rock edging and pebbles

Hi everyone,

In Autumn last year we made our pond and used rocks to line the edges and created a pebble beach:


I've just been doing some research on some final plant ideas and came across a website that stated that using cobbles/pebbles or rocks around the edge of the pond would be bad for young amphibians and cause them to cook to death on the surface. An internet search has shown at least one other source that agrees. I'm now really worried we've made a huge mistake with our design. I'd read that paving slabs near a pond were a bad idea for that very reason, but on several wildlife friendly pond making sites and sources I've seen rocks and pebble beaches mentioned so thought these wouldn't have the same issues.

We're going to have plants right around the edges (outside and in the pond) but I'm just wondering if anyone has a similar set up and knows whether it's going to be bad for the amphibians or not? The pond is on our south facing side so full sun. 

Lucid image



  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,356

    I thought the way you have built it is ideal to help creatures get out of the pond. It is what is always advised on gardening programmes and articles on ponds. The stones at the edge of the pool are cooler because of the water and the damp. A lot of cold blooded creatures, such as snakes and lizards love lying on rocks in the sun.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,234

    Give the beasties a bit of credit. If they think it doesn't suit them, they won't do it generally speaking. image

    Your pond looks great and any plants will provide big shade, little shade, cover from predators etc. Tet's right, you can overthink and for every yes on tinterweb you'll find a no! On this site you'll get years of experience and knowledge and some yeses and noes thrown in. It's all about balance.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,902

    Insects and butterflies too BL.  I agree with the others Lucid, the internet can be very useful but it can also fill you with unnecessary fear. I think a beach would only be an issue if it was enormous and there was no other cover around. Not likely in a standard garden pond. If you're really worried, an arching grass or sedge nearby will add some shade to the pebbled area, but I don't think you need it  image

    Once you have the plants in place, it will be great. Loads of wildlife will use it. Enjoy image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 3,277
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • LucidLucid Posts: 385

    Thanks for the replies everyone. I know it probably seems silly for me to have asked but it was on quite a reputable source and as I've heard before that the baby frogs/newts can get stuck to hot paving slabs when they've emerged from the pond, I really wanted to make sure a similar thing wasn't going to happen with our pond. I do appreciate that there are many differing ideas online but I'm now feeling better that it's probably going to be fine.

    I've just placed an order for the final pond plants and some surrounding plants. I think we'll try to offer plenty of shady overlaps for the rock border anyway.

    Unfortunately I don't think there are any hedgehogs in our area, but we've got a nice slope to the beach area anyway and I'm hoping at some point to find a nice log to add in. For the shelves we're going to have some pebble slopes too to help creatures get out from anywhere.

    Lucid image

    Last edited: 13 May 2016 15:58:12

  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,234

    Maybe the hedghogs haven't come because there was nowhere for them. Now that you've built a hotel goodness knows who will show up. image

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,902

    Lucid - large paving slabs  would be a different matter for tiny creatures to cross as opposed to shingle and pebbles, so unless your pond was surrounded by solid paving, and there was no other route out,  you don't need to worry  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Rob LockwoodRob Lockwood Midlands of EnglandPosts: 328

    Hi Lucid - a slope's a good idea for all animals.  If you're concerned about the advice you found, what about putting some sand or plants in between / over the pebbles to cool things down - watercress, hen-and-chickens, and creeping jenny would do the trick, many others as well I imagine.

  • LucidLucid Posts: 385

    plant pauper - I'd certainly love to have hedgehog visitors but my neighbour is convinced they're no longer around in our area. I've certainly not seen any in the general area since we moved here, but will definitely keep an eye out now our garden is starting to take shape.

    Fairygirl - yes we purposely won't be including paving slabs near the pond, but this particular source mentioned cobbles and rocks which is why I worried. I was checking out the heat of them to touch yesterday and they didn't seem too hot anyway but appreciate it's not yet as hot as it will be. However after all of the replies I'm much less worried now - not that there's any baby frogs or newts to worry about yet. After hardly spotting the newts in the pond lately I caught glimpses of 3 at once yesterday towards the evening. Just need these further pond plants to arrive so that we can finish the planting and make it more enclosed for them.

    Rob Lockwood -  Thanks for the recommendation on the plants for between the pebbles and that creeping jenny sounds perfect for trying to have between some of the rocks anyway - typical I've already placed the order! I've also included a fibre optic grass which I think I'm going to try to position in the slope of the beach somewhere, so this will help shade some of it. I think if in the height of summer the pebble beach does seem very hot to touch then we'll look in to trying to shade it some more.

    Lucid :)

    Last edited: 14 May 2016 10:05:07

  • Gillian53Gillian53 Posts: 112

    We had some small pavers set in the lawn at the pond and I had to cover them with wet tea towels. I'd seen a couple of froglets land on them only to instantly shrivel up. A cup of pond water poured on them as soon as it happened sorted them out, however there were a few casualties. 

Sign In or Register to comment.