Gardeners are being urged to encourage wildlife with water, as ponds form this year’s Wild About Gardens challenge, from The Wildlife Trusts and the RHS.
The UK has lost ponds, rivers and streams at a rapid rate, and only a small amount of our natural ponds and wetlands remain, the charities warn. Here’s how to build a mini-pond yourself...
Choose your spot
Your mini-pond will need some sunlight, but not full sunlight all day. Make sure it’s in shade for some of the time. The best way to create shade is with another plant or two.
What type of container is best?
Be creative - is there anything you could upcycle, such as a washing-up bowl, wheelbarrow basin, or sink? Your pond will need a wide ‘neck’ so wildlife can get in and out. Other than that, the shape really doesn’t matter. Sink your pond or add a ramp for creatures to access.
Choose the right plants
Water forget-me-not and flowering rush are pretty. Other suitable specimens include waterlily (Nymphaea ‘Pygmaea Helvola’) and Lesser spearwort (Ranunculus flammula).
Place your plants in baskets
Place aquatic plants in baskets lifted up to the correct level of the water by standing them on bricks, stones or other pots.
Fill your mini-pond with rainwater
Install a water butt to collect rainwater with which to fill your pond, and continue to use this water to top up if levels drop.
You won’t need a pump in a mini-pond to stop the water stagnating. It may go a little green at first or before the plants fill out.