Last September we made a mini wildlife pond in the garden with our kids and since then we have had many fun filled days watching all the different wildlife that live and visit our pond. Within two days of making our pond we were shocked and excited to discover a newt and now almost a year later our mini wildlife pond is home to at least 4 newts, some pond skaters and a couple of water snails as well as being a regular watering hole for the birds and barn cats who visit our garden.
Creating a mini pond is a fantastic activity for the kids to get involved with and once the pond is completed not only will it attract an array of wildlife to your garden it will also offer so many learning opportunities for the children to witness first hand which may include watching the life cycle of a frog, learning how to create a newt friendly habitat or noticing the differences between damselflies and dragonflies.
A mini wildlife pond can be made at any time of the year and does not have to cost a fortune. We made our pond out of an old storage box, stones from the garden, rain water and some small pond plants.
How to make a mini wildlife pond
To make your own mini wildlife pond you will need the following:
- A container that is water tight
- Rocks and stones
- Small pond plants (Suggestions below)
- Rain water
- Optional: Logs, old wood, larger stones to go around the outside of the pond
- First and most importantly make sure your container is water tight and that you have chosen a spot for your pond that gets some light. If your pond is going to be in full sun all day you will need to use a deep container to stop the water evaporating quickly, if you are creating your pond in a part shady area a shallow container will be fine.
- Dig a hole as big as the container making sure that the ground in which your container sits is firm and level. Having your container lay flat against the ground will allow newts and other creatures to get in and out easily.
- At one end of the container use large rocks and stones to create a shallow area with ledges and stepping stones for creatures to get in and out.
- Fill your pond using rainwater.
- Plant your pond plants.
Plant suggestions for wildlife pond
Here are our suggestions for easy and compact plants that will be great additions to any small wildlife pond.
Hornwort is a essential plant for your wildlife pond. Not only is it an oxygenator it also provides shelter to many aquatic invertebrates. Hornwort is extremely easy to plant as it has no roots so you can leave it to float on the surface or you can anchor the plant in place with a stone. Hornwort will grow in both sunny and partially shaded ponds.
The water forget me not is a good plant for small ponds and will do well in both sunny and partially shaded ponds. The pretty blue flowers of the aquatic Forget-me-not will attract bees and butterflies to your pond whilst the green leaves are used by newts for laying their eggs.
The Dwarf Bullrush plant will do well in shallow ponds that are in both sunny and partially shaded areas. This is a fun tactile plant that children will enjoy playing with especially when the brown seed heads of the bullrush burst releasing downy seeds.
Aquatic watermint has an amazing smell and beautiful pink flowers that will attract a lot of wildlife to your pond. It grows well in very wet and boggy areas and will tolerate shade.
We hope you have enjoyed this weeks article and if you do make your own wildlife pond please do let us know by getting in contact via social media.