Do I need to manage my pond?
Well-designed wildlife ponds need very little management but here are a few simple steps to follow to make sure your pond thrives:
- Don’t introduce frogs or other amphibians from other ponds because this can spread amphibian disease and small fragments of invasive pond plants
- Don’t add fish - they will eat invertebrates and amphibian eggs and reduce the diversity of your pond
- Keep the grass long around the edge of your pond and add piles of stones or logs nearby to provide places for animals to shelter
- After a while, some pond plants may become too abundant. Pull out or divide them once every year or two, reducing their volume by about one third
- All management or cutting should be done in the autumn, after amphibians have left the pond but before minibeasts start overwintering
- Remember to leave vegetation and dredged material on the banks of the pond for a few days, so that minibeasts can escape back to the pond, before taking the material away for composting
- It's natural for the water level in ponds to decrease in summer. In fact, many animals and plants benefit as they need areas of exposed mud to lay their eggs in and to set new seed.
- If the water gets very low and you feel that the pond needs to be topped up, use rainwater from a water butt. Tap water contains high levels of chemicals which can unbalance the chemistry of the pond
- It is better to refill little and often rather than in one go as large amounts of cold water will substantially reduce the temperature of the pond.
- Don't attach your pond to a drain, the drain water won't be good quality and will likely pollute the pond.