How do I create a wildlife pond in my garden?
Ideally a wildlife pond should be at least three metres wide and a metre deep in the middle to protect the pond wildlife from the effects of freezing during the winter.
It should be situated in a natural hollow that catches the sun and be irregularly or kidney shaped.
There should be a shallow shelf on the sunny side of the pond but the greater the amount of shallow water at the edges, there is in a pond, the greater the amount of diversity there will be.
Ponds are best lined with a butyl or polyethylene liner, which is placed on a layer of sand or old carpet to protect it from any sharp objects.
For more detailed information consult the Natural England website or the Pond Conservation Trust.
My wildlife pond is covered with blanketweed / algae, what should I do?
If the wildlife pond is still relatively new then you may get an epidemic of blanketweed. Initially you should rake out the blanketweed but given enough time nature will remedy the situation with the help of watersnails.
The Pond Conservation Trust have produced a leaflet on 'Problem Pond Plants' which provides information on helping in the removal of more problematic species.
What do I need to do to maintain / repair my wildlife pond?
An established wildlife pond should need little management.
Some fallen leaves, water plants and silt may need to be removed from the pond in late September and October It is best to leave some material in the pond as the wildlife may use it for shelter.
Topping up the water during the summer may be required, it is best to use rainwater but if you have to use tap water then fill a bucket with water and allow it to stand overnight so as to avoid adding fluoride and chloride, which could cause problems in your pond.