05 Jun
Pond Ponderings – Mass Emergence

Pond Ponderings – Mass Emergence

With close to 100 dragonflies emerging from the pond this year, Les Carter in Suffolk tells us how the pond came to be!

[Emerging dragonfly]

We moved to our new home about fourteen years ago, and as soon as we saw the front garden we decided to create a wildlife garden with the primary features being, a wildlife pond, mixed hedge around the garden made up of five native plants. The hedge was necessary as a wind break protecting and separating the area to ensure a wildlife sanctuary.

The pond was dug out by hand, the form carefully considered, three foot six inches deep with a sloping edge, shelves, and the size had to be in proportion with the area available. This resulted in a pond with a bog area one third size of the total area of the pond. So, the total area covered is about a plot of 12ft x 8ft with the outer rim surrounded by native planting added over the years that encourages diverse species of butterflies, bees, moths, flying insects like wasps, beetles, hoverflies, and Hummingbird hawkmoths.

[Large Red Damselflies]

Since that first day when the shape and size were completed, we have added a diversity of native plants and a small willow tree pruned hard back in late winter, giving shade and cover for the visiting birds. We used for the pond only native oxygenators, small reed plants, stones of assorted sizes and last year a small water lily plant was added and the only aquatic wildlife we added were pond snails. The diverse and large numbers of other wildlife found their way to the pond and have multiplied over the years. After the first forty-eight hours, we had water beetles that had flown in, such was the surprise to see them that soon.

Every year we see new species and lose old species, but that is how a wildlife pond should function, giving a home to all that passes over or by the pond when visiting our garden. This includes birds bathing and drinking, even the odd hedgehog has appeared occasionally, and a family of ducks with young came in. Unfortunately, ducks can clear a pond of aquatic life very quickly, so it is best not to encourage ducks to a small pond.

[Broad-bodied Chaser female]

Having a wildlife pond in your garden gives you a chance to get closer to nature, and see throughout the year how water is essential to a healthy wildlife balance, that gives you so much in return and the reward is you are helping wildlife to continue to progress the species quietly and safely in your own garden.