Gardeners across the UK urged to make a splash for wildlife

 

For this year’s Wild About Gardens challenge, The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) are calling on people to build a pond in their garden. From mini container ponds to larger sunken ponds, it’s the garden feature that can make the biggest difference to wildlife.   

With much of the UK’s native flora and fauna under threat, often down to habitat loss, Wild About Gardens sees the two charities join forces to raise awareness of the importance of gardens in supporting wildlife and offer tips and advice on how to make them more wildlife-friendly. 

The UK has lostponds, rivers and streams at a rapid rate and only a small amount of ournatural ponds and wetlands remain. Many of these are in poor condition and 13% of freshwater and wetland species are threatened with extinction from Great Britain.*  The loss of these important places – to development, drainage and intensive farming – is linked to a huge decline in wildlife, including frogs and toads, water voles and insects.

Adding a pond – by digging one in your back garden or simply by filling a waterproof container outside your front door – is one of the best ways you can help wildlife and enjoy the benefits of seeing water plants, birds and bees close to home.Digging a pond is great for hedgehogs to have somewhere to drink and for frogs, newts and other amphibians to feed and breed. All ponds – large, small, dug or container – are good news for bats, damselflies, dragonflies, other insects.

Tim Hill, Conservation Manager at Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, says:

“Adding a pond is one of the best things you can do for wildlife in your garden. It doesn’t have to be big – an old sink or a large plant pot will do – and with a few suitable plants, it can be home to an array of wildlife, including damselflies and dragonflies, frogs and newts.”

Helen Bostock, Senior Horticultural Advisor at the RHS says: “Ponds and other water features are an attractive focal point in any garden and are a real haven for wildlife. Even cheap container ponds made from upcycled materials will quickly be colonised by a whole host of creatures and help form a living chain of aquatic habitats across the neighbourhood.”

The Wild About Gardens team are providing pond-tastic inspiration to get gardeners started:

  • Enjoy our fabulous Big or Small, Ponds for All booklet – a step-by-step guide to creating the perfect pond, large or small! Download the booklet on www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk
  • Every pond counts! We want to know about every new pond! Each pond contributes towards the network of wild places that nature needs to survive. Please put your pond on the map on www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk
  • Join in a Thursday pond social! This will run from 17 April to 27June at 6pm each and every Thursday on social media helping people identify things in their pond and creating conversation. Visit www.Twitter.com/wildabtgardensor www.facebook.com/groups/WildAboutGardens/to join in the conversation.
  • Follow Jules Howard’s pond podcast! Jules will be interviewing ecologists and talking ponds for eight weeks from 18 April. Download the podcast from www.juleshoward.co.uk
  • Download your free pond toolkit and find more inspiration for making your garden a wildlife haven at www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk.