No wildlife garden would be complete without a pond.
It will attract a multitude of life forms that will,
quite quickly, colonise your pond;
it will also provide drinking water for all the other
creatures that you have
attracted to your urban oasis.
Note: butterflies do not drink from open water:
they suck up moisture through their proboscis.
This is where the marsh area, surrounding your pond,
will provide refreshment for your visiting butterflies.
The size of the pond will be determined by the size of the area where
you will be creating your wildlife-friendly butterfly
It will also be the most labour intensive of the environment
If you are, like me, in the autumn of you lives and your heavy
digging days are over, then this would be a great opportunity to get a
younger generation involved.
This, apart from the conservation aspect, is the object of the project;
to inspire others, especially children, to appreciate
the value of wildlife and thus
ensure its survival in an age of soulless materialism
and selfish egotism.
N.B. You cannot have fish in your wildlife pond; they’ll eat the tadpoles. Neither can you always have both frogs and newts. If the pond is not large enough, the newts could eat the tadpoles of the frogs. Let Nature sort this out.
There are, of course, other websites to help you construct your pond. Just type in 'how to create a wildlife pond' and press search.
Native Aquatic Plants
Assuming that your pond is small to medium in size; the recommended minimum being 6' x 6', the following data are taken from much larger lists. Again, the choice is yours but these will be in flower for most of the year.
As you can see these last five also grow in the flower meadow that should be an extension of the marsh area. And, as with the cultivated area, grow these plants in groups of 3-5-7 for greater effect.
Diagram of the Pond
The following diagram will give you an idea as to how it could look in profile. The width here is optional as the size of your pond will be determined by the available space. But the larger the pond, the more wildlife it will attract.
Use some of the subsoil to line the bottom of the pond. Firm the shelves so they do not crumble when the liner is put into place. This will involve teamwork when the liner needs to be stretched over the excavated space. You will probably have to fill the pond with tap water that will take a couple of days to clear. The wildlife you want to attract to your pond will arrive soon after completion. Photograph and record these arrivals as birds and butterflies drink in the shallows surrounding the pond. Airborne insects such as dragonflies may be the first to colonise your pond followed by frogs, toads and newts that will thrive in the habitat that you have created for them.
Remember, once established, your pond has to be maintained.