One of the most effective ways to make your garden more wildlife friendly is to add some water!
Ponds can support a wide range of species, from dragonflies and amphibians to birds and small mammals.
You don't need much space for a pond, and making one doesn't have to be expensive or labour intensive. An old sink or garden planter can be enough to attract wildlife.
The perfect wildlife friendly pond will have:
- shallow sloping edges
- some open water
- some plants with roots in the water but stem and flowers above the water
- some aquatic plants that grow entirely in the water
- some bank side plants
Some pond plants can be very invasive and will cause trouble for your pond life. Safe plants for your pond include:
Plants for deep water
- Water crowfoot
- Common water starwort
- Spiked water milfoil
Plants for the shallows
- Water forget me not
- Water mint
- Yellow flag iris
- Flowering rush
- Water plantain
Plants for the edges
- Meadow sweet
- Purple loosestrife
- Ladies smock
- Marsh marigold
- Rushes or sedges
Plants to avoid
Plants to avoid
- Curly waterweed (Lagarosiphon major)
- Canadian pondweed (Elodea canadensis)
- Nuttall's pondweed (Elodea nuttallii)
- Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)
- Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes)
- Floating water primrose (Ludwigia grandiflora, Ludwigia uruguayensis and Ludwigia peploides)*
- Floating pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides)*
- Parrots feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)*
- Australian swamp stone-crop (Crassula helmsii)*
- Water fern (Azolla filiculoides)*
* These plants have been banned for sale in the UK.
To avoid accidentally spreading non-native invasive species into the wider countryside, never move plants or animals between ponds and always compost any plant material that’s been removed.