Wildlife Gardening with Paul Peace

Wildlife gardening - timely advice throughout the year, projects etc. Information on wild flowers, birds, butterflies, bumblebees, mason bees, ladybirds, lacewings, frogs, etc. If it's to do with garden wildlife, you will find it here!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

A pond for life

September is usually a good time for pond construction. Soils are normally more workable and cooler weather is better for physical work. Here are the basics of good pond design:

A minimum depth of 80cm will prevent the water freezing solid. A minimum surface area of 4m2 prevents algae (green slime) forming. Provide at least one gently sloping slide for wildlife to get access to drink (e.g. birds) and exit (e.g. frogs and unfortunate hedgehogs). Slope other sides inwards by 20° so that expanding ice slides up the pond sides rather than forcing against them. Line the soil with old carpet or a thick layer of newspaper to cover sharp stones.

Pond liner is preferable to concrete which cracks and is too alkaline, or preformed plastic ponds which have dangerously steep and slippery sides for wildlife. Pond shelves 25-30cm wide and 25-30cm below the water surface provide a micro habitat e.g. for dragonfly larvae and marginal plants.

I have written an ebook containing detailed information on how to build and stock a pond, available on the Wildlife Garden Website.

For more wildlife gardening advice, ebooks, information, projects and jokes please visit: www.thewildlifegarden.co.uk


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