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pond wildlife guide

Ponds are a wonderful addition to any garden. Whether yours is a natural pond or one man-made using a pond liner, they can play an important part in the survival of wildlife around it.

The fact is, many of the country ponds that once existed have long been filled in as farming and urban development changed the landscape.

With their demise, there has been a huge negative impact on the various species of wildlife as well as plants that rely on bodies of water for their survival.

Today, we are going to look at how you can best maintain your pond so that it might encourage wildlife to flourish beside it.

Tips on Maintaining a Healthy Pond for More Wildlife

1. Control the plant life

pond maintenance

Keep an eye out for any non-native plants that have started to take hold. Spring is a good time to remove these so that native plants (that are more likely to encourage wildlife) can flourish.

It is also a good idea to trim back and thin out plants around the edge of the pond. This will boost spring growth, while also ensuring that overgrown vegetation doesn’t “choke” the pond affecting the quality of the water.

This also goes for duckweed that may be growing on the surface of the pond. If it is too much, the water surface will end up being choked and clogged.

2. Maintain sufficient levels with rainwater

If your pond is in need of more water, ensure that you use fresh rainwater to do so. Tap water has too many additives, while also being sterile in terms of what wildlife requires.

In essence, tap water will be detrimental to the natural healthy balance of the pond.

The best way to collect rainwater is to install a water barrel under the downpipes of your guttering. Installed correctly you can even utilize gravity to use the barrel with a hose line.

3. Be careful of fallen leaves

If you have a number of trees in your garden, leaves can end up covering the surface of the pond. (And not just in the autumn, dry spring and summer months can also lead to trees dropping some leaves that end up in the water.)

While some leaf coverage can provide shelter and food for wildlife in the pond, too much will cause excessive sediment as the leaves rot, which blocks the light and affects the health of the water.

To prevent this, periodically skim-away fallen leaves and other debris from your pond.

4. Remove excess sediment from the bottom

It is likely that your pond has become murky over the winter. It is easy to allow maintenance to fall by the wayside and the months of neglect will mean the pond liner will need a clean.

To do this, empty a third of the water from your pond. Sediment is the main culprit for a dirty-looking pond. Scrape up the excess sediment from the bottom and then replace the water using rainwater as we described above.

Failing that, (or if you do not want to empty water from your pond), you can follow the video above on how to clean your pond without draining it.

Final Words

If you adhere to these tips while looking after your pond, you will find that before long it will be a wonderful habitat for wildlife.

Spring and Summer are very important times for ponds and the species that rely on them.

Frogs and newts will lay eggs from March and April onwards. A healthy pond will not only encourage production but will also help increase the chances of success and survival of the offspring.

Pond snails, water skaters, and lesser water boatmen will also appear in ponds as the weather starts to warm.

Watching this life flourish will be immensely satisfying for you.

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