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Water for wildlife


A pond or water feature is an essential element in the garden for birds and other animals to drink from and bathe in. By installing a bog garden, pond or even a bird bath, the water becomes a full ecosystem, where amphibians can breed and a myriad of pondlife will make your garden their home. (RHS)


Even a water dish ground level can help nature in your garden especially on those hot summer days.


Container ponds

Container ponds or a ‘pond in a pot’ are ideal for courtyard or patio gardens. Or even a balcony or roof garden where flying insects such as dragonflies and pond skaters can still make use of them. Stone troughs, old sinks or baths and large, glazed or plastic pots are suitable once drainage holes have been plugged or a flexible liner fitted. A minimum water depth of 20-30cm (8in-1ft) allows a few plants to be added. Wooden barrels should be thoroughly rinsed out and made watertight before planting up. Fill with water and keep topping up until the swelling of the wood seals any leaks.










Bubble fountains or birdbaths

Where small children are at risk, a bubble fountain or birdbath with only a thin film of water is a safer option that will still attract birds. Those with pebbles in offer a handy drinking spot for bees.

Bog gardens

These can be stand alone features, making good use of a wet site, or can be positioned next to ponds and independently lined. Enhance the damp habitat even further by including a log pile or two. Frogs, toads and newts all need damp spots when out of the water so boggy areas help provide moist stepping stones for amphibians moving between breeding sites.



Rain gardens 

are creative ways to make use of rain water, reducing storm water run-off and gaining an attractive garden feature. They often link several different types of water together including stormwater planters, rills, pools and depressions or swales which only hold water after heavy rain. By following the general principles of good wildlife water gardening such as making sure there is a ramp in and out of any steep-sided water container, rain gardens can offer a really rich habitat for a wide range of wildlife.

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