How to build a pond for wildlife

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Pond at Sutton Courtenay Environmental Education Centre by Wendy TobittPond at Sutton Courtenay Environmental Education Centre by Wendy Tobitt

Ponds support a greater diversity of wildlife than any other garden habitat.

A pond in your garden will give you the chance to get great close-up views of frogs and damselflies, and even newts if you're lucky. It will also provide water for birds and small mammals. You'll have a whole different range of plants to enjoy in and around the water as well.

 

Sink pond

You can make a pond from any waterproof tub, bucket or sink. These 'sink ponds' are easy to make and find room for even if you don't have a large garden. You can put a sink pond in a small garden, on a patio or even on a balcony. They are also safer if you have young children.

  • Put a layer of sand in the bottom of your container for insects to burrow into
  • Pile up stones around the edge to help frogs and other creatures clamber up - this is important so wildlife doesn't drown in your pond
  • Add some small native plants - download our list of suggested pond plants
  • Use rain-water to fill your pond rather than tap-water
  • Place other plants near your pond

Dug pond

How to dig a pond. Photo by BBOWT

A dug pond takes a bit more work, but is a beautiful addition to a garden and supports a wide range of wildlife. Aim for a surface area of around 4-5 square meters. This will make it possible for frogs, newts and some dragonflies to breed.

Download our step-by-step instructions.

  • Consider whether your pond will be accessible to young children in case it presents a danger to them
  • Locate the pond away from trees, which will drop leaves that 'choke' the pond
  • Avoid introducing fish, because they will feed on dragonfly larvae, tadpoles and frog spawn
  • Plant some dense vegetation for amphibians to hide in - download our list of suggested pond plants
 

More help

Read our frequently asked questions for more help about creating and maintaining a wildlife pond.

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