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How to

Create Ponds

Ponds are tremendous for biodiversity. We were lucky in having a slope and heavy soil – ideal conditions for digging ponds.

Ponds need to hold a certain amount of water to harbour aquatic species, but you don’t need to get too hung up on this – ponds that partially, or even completely, dry up are very valuable.

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The other things to remember is that wet ground can be at least as valuable as open water.  Don't automatically dig out wet areas to create ponds - keep lots of wet ground.

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DIGGING PONDS IS EASY:

  • Get a digger and start excavating.

  • Decide at the start where the water level will be and what sets it. 

  • Have an overflow so that in storm conditions, banks don’t get overtopped.

  • Dig lots of small, independent ponds, not one big one. 

  • Have lots of shallow water with a refuge of some that is deeper.

  • Don’t use a liner unless you have absolutely no alternative, and then maybe just line the refuge area.

  • Don’t plant – aquatic plants move in incredibly quickly.

  • Introduce dead wood and brash, both as perches and for invertebrate habitat.
     

In our fields, we dug 15 ponds in two weeks. Some dry up completely in the summer, others retain water. The shallows are where most of the life is. Apart from increasing biodiversity, these ponds are storing water and helping to reduce flooding.

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In our fields, we dug 15 ponds in two weeks.

Some dry up completely in the summer, others retain water. The shallows are where most of the life is.

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Apart from increasing biodiversity, these ponds are storing water and helping to reduce flooding.

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