8th June 2022
Ponds are like wetter gardens. Ecosystem. When plants and animals die, they fall to the ground. Garden trash is easy to remove. If we don't, it will blow away and perish in a corner. Worms and minibeasts can recycle trash into plant food.
Similarly, waterways have systems. Currents transport debris to slower or still water, where it sinks and decays. None? Dead leaves, fish poop, duck poop, etc. will decay where they fall. Adding "dirt" only silts up a pond's bottom.
And invading plants. We hoe out seedlings, dig up plants, or use herbicides in the garden. Large ponds, lakes, and waterways are harder to weed. You can't see what's growing below the surface until it's an infestation.
Assess the situation first. Problem? Is the pond too shallow due to debris? Is the water muddy from silt or plants? (Blanket weed and algae count)
It's tempting to remove everything and start again, but a pond's ecosystem is fragile. If you disturb critters in your garden, they may relocate. Pond species need water at a specified temperature and with dissolved nutrients. It's difficult.
Pond restoration requires subtlety. One problem at a time, then adapt. Start by removing superfluous vegetation and leaving it beside the water to attract wildlife.
Once the water settles, you can determine how much muck to remove. Remove mud one place at a time so live creatures can relocate.
If your pond is full of decaying leaves that have created a toxic soup, there will be no wildlife to disturb, so remove everything - just be cautious not to harm the liner.
Ideally, rainwater or spring water will fill your clean pond. Last resort: tap water. When renovating a pond, collect as much rainwater as feasible. Water butts and temporary reservoirs are helpful.
A broken pond liner may only be repaired by draining and drying out the pond. Pumping part or all of the water into a reservoir will benefit your pond long-term.
"Wild" frequently means unmanaged. To maximise a pond's wildlife value, maintain it. Smaller ponds require more help.
Annual maintenance includes assessing species balance. One species may be ailing while another is thriving.
Marginal planting? These pond-edge plants. Out of control? Variety? Are they wildlife-friendly?
The RHS recommends that 60-75% of a pond's surface be covered by floating aquatic plants in summer. Does your pond meet this criteria, or do you need to intervene?
Fall leaves clogging your pond? If so, can you cover it temporarily or must the leaves be removed before winter?
Annual maintenance ensures you and local wildlife get the most from your wildlife pond.
Drains, ditches, waterways
Similar to ponds are ditches and streams. They make fantastic boundaries and are great for wildlife.
Ditch upkeep is necessary for good function. So water may flow freely, vegetation must be controlled and silt cleared.
Rain Gardens, SUDS, Drainage
Climate change may change our weather patterns, we're informed. Milder, wetter winters, hotter, drier summers. Keeping your pond full may be harder.
Creating a rain garden may help. Rain gardens are like drainage ponds or ditches. In winter, they may fill up, but in summer they can dry out. A rain garden with the right plants looks great and benefits wildlife year-round.
Pond management services
We can help you care for your pond, no matter its size or condition. Our services include waste disposal, refurbishing, plant management, pond liner repairs, and new ponds and water features. We respect animals and won't leave you with a stinky mess.