Dorset Wildlife Trust is highlighting the importance of garden ponds for wildlife as we face a summer of environmental drought, despite recent rain. A survey of a network of garden ponds this spring has shown that wildlife is benefiting from the variety of ponds and plants provided by neighbouring wildlife friendly gardeners.
This pond survey has shown clearly how a group of gardens and their ponds can form an invaluable habitat for wildlife
The survey was carried out as part of a Community Pond Dip at Cann, near Shaftesbury and covered six quite different privately owned garden ponds in Long Lane. Over 30 species of wildlife were found, including newts, snails, freshwater shrimps and dragonfly and damselfly larvae, many of them having colonised the ponds without the knowledge of the owners!
Joy Wallis, Community Conservation Officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “This pond survey has shown clearly how a group of gardens and their ponds can form an invaluable habitat for wildlife, with species choosing the pond or garden that is most suitable for them. Different ponds attract a different range of wildlife but taken together, this 0.7km strip of gardens makes up an important haven for wildlife to help it to survive environmental changes and loss of habitat.”
The Wildlife Friendly Garden Competition, sponsored by The Gardens Group, is open to all sizes of garden until 18th May
Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Friendly Garden Competition this spring is designed to encourage gardeners across the county to make a home for wildlife and there is plenty of advice available. Joy said: “At Cann, the pond with the most animal species was the one with the greatest variety of plants in and around the pond, so do put in suitable native plants. My other top tip for anyone who wants to attract wildlife to their pond is not to add any animals at all, especially fish. Native animals such as amphibians, dragonflies and snails, will find their own way. Just sit back and let the wildlife come to you!”
The Wildlife Friendly Garden Competition, sponsored by The Gardens Group, is open to all sizes of garden until 18th May. Winners will receive a plaque and there are wildlife-friendly prizes for the runners up and for every school that enters the competition, kindly donated by The Gardens Group. For wildlife gardening advice or to enter the competition, click here or ring 01305 264620.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Joy Wallis at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
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About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Dorset Wildlife Trust is part of the Natural Weymouth and Portland Partnership; connecting people with nature
Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
One of the garden ponds being surveyed in the Community Pond Dip at Cann, near Shaftesbury - Joy Wallis
Male smooth newt found during the survey at Cann, near Shaftesbury - Joy Wallis