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14/04/2012 at 18:27

I built two ponds in my garden, one is a natural clay pond with gentle slopping sides to about 1m and is surrounded  by a bog garden and is itself  full of native plants to provide shelter. The other is a concrete lined pond with vertical sides down to 1m  with the middle down to 2.3m. Around this pond is a shallow area which is about 30cm deep which is full to within 2-3cm of gravel with mostly non native plants and some tropical pond plants in summer in it.  There are virtually no plants in the middle straight sided section so that we can swim in it. I have however noticed that I get  all my toads, frogs, common and great crested newts in this second concrete straight sided pond and virtually none in the natural clay one. I think the reason for this is because this pond has straight sides and with no shelves, a heron and other predators cannot stand in the vertical sided pond and reach down 1m so my amphibians all feel safer and they can get out in the shallow bit when they need to. Has anyone else found this is the case? We may all need to re-think what a wildlife pond really should be like.

14/04/2012 at 20:42

I think it is the depth that probably attracts them. One metre is probably not deep enough for overwintering frogs as it can freeze completely. With the extra depth in your other pond and a good entry/exit point it would be more favourable to wildlife.

15/04/2012 at 13:48
Daintiness wrote (see)

I think it is the depth that probably attracts them. One metre is probably not deep enough for overwintering frogs as it can freeze completely. With the extra depth in your other pond and a good entry/exit point it would be more favourable to wildlife.


 "One metre is probably not deep enough for overwintering frogs as it can freeze completely" .............Do you live in the Arctic !!!!

The question you ask is a difficult one to answer, but bear this in mind. Wildlife only thrives in conditions that are nigh on correct for their needs.

I don't think frogs, toads or newts really care or understand what the design of a pond is all about. My wildlife pond in the allotment is made from a old bath - straight edges and shallow but the frogs and newts love it, so must feel safe.

Heres food for thought - is the ph of the water in the clay pond correct for instance ?!?! Perhaps they don't like it  !!!!

15/04/2012 at 14:07

I built the clay pond a few years before the other one and had the clay tested to make sure the ph etc was correct at different levels as it was dug and then compacted. I used to get a lot of wildlife in this pond until I built the straight sided one and then they all seemed to move to this one. Neither of my ponds froze completely last winter and i live in the south of the country.

15/04/2012 at 16:33

Oops! I think I should have put in the word 'over' - I meant that  when a pond freezes over completely, there is a lack of oxygen entering the pond and in this environment wildlife could die - however, Wrightt seems to be in a mild area of the country so this aspect doesn't affect him/her.

15/04/2012 at 18:43

haha Daintiness I thought you meant to say that . Only funning with you

Well, if theres nowt wrong with the water in your opinion, why not add some fish. Some beauty fish out there. We used to keep Koi, gold fish, blue and gold orfe, tench, gold carp and we had a ghost koi called Jaws - he was massive, I say he, he could have been a she. LOL

Hmmm, yeah, why not go for one wildlife pond and the other a fish pond. I think its a nice balance having 2 points of interest.

    16/04/2012 at 10:49

Hi wrightt, that's interesting to know, thanks. Which pond do the frogs spawn in? Traditionally they prefer spawning in shallow water - but I agree, I have seen lots of frogs and newts spending time in deeper ponds. What about other pond life though?  <span>The greatest variety of wildlife in ponds lives in the very shallow water, including tadpoles, newt larvae, water beetles and dragonfly nymphs. Do you get these in the shallow or deep pond?

Kate

17/04/2012 at 11:15

I get tadpoles, newt larvae, water beetles etc near the top of the deep pond around the edge which spills over into the very shallow area though rarely in the shallow area I suspect this is agin so that they can rush deep if they see a heron.

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