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Give wildlife a helping hand – add a pond to your garden

The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) are calling on people to make a difference to wildlife and put in a pond for this year’s Wild About Gardens challenge.

From mini container ponds to larger sunken ponds – or even a waterproof container outside your front door – adding a pond 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 also great for hedgehogs to have somewhere to drink and for frogs, newts and other amphibians to feed and breed – as well as for bats and damselflies.

The UK has lost ponds, rivers and streams at a rapid rate and only a small amount of our natural ponds and wetlands remain. 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.

Ellie Brodie, Senior Policy Manager at The Wildlife Trusts says: “It’s such fun to help wildlife with a pocket pond – it needn’t be big. All you need to do is fill an old sink or washing-up bowl with rainwater, plant it up and make sure that wildlife can get in and out – it’s easy! I love watching bright blue damselflies landing on the irises in my pond – they’re so beautiful and it’s great knowing I’m helping local wildlife.”

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.”

For more information, expert tips and advice, pond events and to download the Big or Small, Ponds for All  step-by-step guide to creating the perfect pond, go to www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk

Common blue damselfly – Ross Hoddinott

Container pond – Tim Sandall (RHS)

Main image: Common frog – Mark Hamblin

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