Posted: 17/04/2017 at 16:55
I'm newly arrived from Belgium so can't help with wildlife groups yet but there was a local Vendée one with a stand at a recent local plant fair so I'll be looking them up sooner or later. We also have a pond dug to provide water for cattle rather than as a wildlife refuge. It is now full of bull rushes and brambles and dries out in summer so a man with a bulldozer will be coming to empty all of that and some sludge out later this year and then it can become a proper pond.
We had a natural pond in Belgium and would use an old plastic sieve attached to a long handle to scoop out duckweed. If you go to a specialist supplier of pond kits and plants you may well find they have organic barley straw which can be bundled into an old pair of tights, tied to a stone and lobbed into the middle of the pond. It helps control blanket weed.
The previous owners ran a creche here so had a simple wire mesh fence round the pond and held up with simple round fence stakes. Something similar but using green metal stakes would be easy enough to erect and sturdy enough to keep dogs and small people out of the water while still giving access to any amphibians and small birds.
Later on, as you get other things sorted out, you may have the time to clean up the edges and plant marginal plants to shelter and feed a variety of other aquatic life including insects.