Garden pond

Discover the wildlife in your pond

Find out what's living in your garden pond - all you need is a fishing net and some jam jars.

Do it:

Jun, Jul, Aug

Takes just:

15 minutes

Putting in a pond is one of the best things you can do for wildlife in your garden. Get the angles and depth right, and you will attract a wealth of invertebrates, from caddisflies to damsel larvae.

Find out how to attract wildlife to your garden pond.

Pond dipping is a great way to find out what's living in your pond. Arm yourself with a fishing net and a few jam jars, and release your inner child.

You will need

  • Fishing net
  • A selection of jam jars or other containers


Choose an edge of the pond where you can kneel or squat in comfort and safety. Part-fill your largest jam jar with pond water and put aside.
Gently sweep your net in an 'S' shape in the water. Check if you have any creatures in your net and transfer them to your jam jar as soon as possible.

Different creatures live at varying depths, so adjust your net sweep. Separate some invertebrates, such as newts and tadpoles, so one doesn't become dinner for the other.

Is your pond murky and full of algae? Discover three ways to improve your garden pond.


Return the creatures to your pond

Don't forget to return the creatures you have looked at to the pond as soon as possible.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

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How to create a wildlife garden (part eight)

10 ways to help garden wildlife in autumn

Pond plants for pollinators

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