Pond Wildlife

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Great tit in pond by François Hergott/Fotolia.comGreat tit in pond by François Hergott/Fotolia.com

Ponds are wildlife hotspots!

Ponds provide the perfect home for a huge variety of wildlife from tiny plants to amazing insects, and they provide water, food and habitat for many birds, amphibians and mammals.

Pond Ecosystems

A pond is an ecosystem in minature. The creatures and plants depend on one another and the pond in which they live to survive. Different creatures use different parts of the pond for food, shelter and reproduction. A variety of water levels makes for a rich pond ecosystem.

Pond edge

At the edges of ponds, plants such as purple-loosestrife, brooklime and marsh-marigold grow in the damp mud. Froglets and toadlets lurk amongst the vegetation where they feed on slugs, worms, snails and insects. Wading birds and small mammals, such as shrews, come to drink and catch insects that are trapped in the mud.

Shallow water

Shallow water is good for plants, such as yellow iris and common reed, that need wet mud for their roots. Dragonfly and damselfly nymphs use these plants to crawl out of the water when they transform into their adult form. Frogs, toads and newts lay their spawn here, and when their tadpoles hatch they feed upon the algae that live in abundance in the shallows.

Deeper water

Deep water provides space for many creatures, such as the great diving beetle, a voracious predator that feeds on smaller invertebrates, tadpoles and even small fish hiding amongst the pond weed. Snails graze on the algae that stick to the leaves of larger plants which grow in deeper ponds, and dragonfly nymphs find shelter in the mud down below.

Pond surface

On the water's surface, agile pond-skaters skim along catching small insects, whilst swallows and dragonflies dart overhead catching insects on the wing. Floating plants like the yellow water lily provide a nectar source for visiting insetcs, give shelter to pond creatures and help to oxygenate the water.  

Ponds

Find out more about ponds, why they are important and the threats they face in our habitat explorer.

Help the bees

Bee by Gilliane Sills

Bumblebees and honey bees are declining in the UK, endangering the food chains that depend on them. We can all help reverse this trend.

Find out how