You’ve spent hours digging, lining, and filling your pond, sourcing pumps, locating filters and adding aquatic plants. When the job is finished you wipe the sweat off your brow, grab a cup of tea and wait. And then wait some more. Just when will all the wildlife show up?

After all of that hard work, it’s understandable that you’d like your pond to be used be used by wildlife as intended. You might also want the whole family to enjoy the pond, especially children who will love spotting creatures in their new habitat. In addition, a thriving pond full of wildlife has educational benefits for your children or grandchildren too. (Especially during school holidays, when you can print a resource pack from the Internet and ask children to draw, colour and write about everything they see! A free, fun, educational activity for an otherwise boring afternoon!)


If you feel like your beauty of a pond deserves to be enjoyed by a few more critters, you’re in luck because this article will provide you with some tips today. Read on to learn more!


First things first, what different types of wildlife can I expect to see?


As you know, ponds will naturally attract lots of water-loving critters from newts to dragonflies, pondskaters to frogs and more besides. But do you know that a pond will attract bats, birds, hedgehogs and even foxes too? Birds will use your pond as their own personal Jacuzzi, while foxes will visit for a long, cool drink in the summer. Meanwhile, hedgehogs will hunt slugs and invertebrates in the long grass around the edges. Hedgehogs can even swim too!

frogHow can I attract more wildlife?

If your pond isn’t cutting the mustard, try troubleshooting using the following tips and advice from professional wildlife organizations and charities:


– Is your pond accessible or too deep? Your pond needs a shallow area so it’s accessible for animals, providing a slope for entering and leaving the pond. In fact, according to the The Royal Horticultural Society, it’s thought that most amphibians much prefer shallow water. In addition, if certain animals (like hedgehogs) cannot leave your pond, they will likely die from exhaustion. Your slope/shallow part of the pool doesn’t need to cost any more money, or be technical: simply use rocks from the garden.


– Have you put a branch over your pond? A thick branch near or over your pond will encourage birds to perch over and bathe in your pond. You might be amazed how effective this cheap, simple trick is! Birds also prefer shallow water, but will stand on both rocks and branches located in larger ponds.


– Have you tried installing a “toad abode”? If your children are keen on spotting amphibians, you might wish to install a “toad abode”. This is quite simply an upturned ceramic pot that toads can live in! Simply place yours next to the pond, ideally without a base and prop up using medium-sized rocks. The National Wildlife Federation has a guide here. Children can get crafty by decorating the pots using poster paints.

dragonfly– Is your pond in a sunny but sheltered location? Some insects like dragonflies need water for breeding. A pond that is in a sunny but sheltered location is likely to attract dragonflies. If you’d like to attract more dragonflies, try creating a ‘mini meadow’ of long grass close to the pond. Old logs and sticks will attract various species of dragonflies too. Create shelter and shade by using large plants – but watch out for falling debris entering your pond.


– Have you planted any flowers? A good variety of flowering plants will attract insects to your garden. Insects are a food source for dragonflies, damselflies, water striders amphibians and birds. If it is not convenient to plant flowers near your pond, house them in pots, tubs and other containers instead.


Further resources:



Carly writes on behalf of Swallow Aquatics a company that provides everything you’ll ever need for building and creating a pond, including liners, pumps, filters and similar. In her spare time, Carly loves spending time with her family, going to the gym and training for her first 5K run.


Image Credits:

Pond © Public Domain. Image from MorgueFile – a free photography resource, here’s the direct download link:

Frog © Tambako the Jaguar. Creative Commons. From Flickr,

Dragonfly © Chris Paul Photography. Creative Commons. From Flickr,


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