School Wildlife ponds
School Wildlife ponds offer homes to an amazing variety of plants and wildlife, such as newts, frogs, toads and dragon flies. School wildlife ponds are a magnet to species which can then be studied; creating a school outdoor classroom to study wildlife. This is the first in a series about creating a school wildlife pond. Others are:
To create a school wildlife pond you will need to consider the following;
- Check with your Local authority on regulations regarding ponds; need for fencing and the maximum depth required.
- Locate the school wildlife pond in a sunny site, away from trees, overhanging branches or leaf litter.
- Design a gentle sloping shelf to allow wildlife access to the water’s edge and pond margins.
- Only a third of the water should be covered with oxygenating plants. Two thirds should be open water. This will be the best balance for wildlife.
The best ponds for wildlife offer a variety of habitats. The best minimum size of school wildlife pond starts at 4 square metres.
A bog garden or marsh area will allow amphibians easy access to the water’s edge. It can be constructed with pond liner extended to form marsh.
Add wildlife friendly plants on the pond edge, preferably to the north of the pond.
Creating a paved area on the south side of the pond will create a low glare area for pond dipping.
Emergent plants; these include marginal plants, oxygenating plants, plus reeds and rushes. Planting a diversity of plants will attract more varied wildlife species.
Management; to maintain a diversity of wildlife, ponds need careful planning and management.
Planting should be carried out in late autumn, Winter or early Spring; avoid any disturbance to wildlife.
Provide extra habitats and shelter or food for wildlife, by adding bird tables, piles of logs and dead wood for invertebrates, and bird or bat boxes nearby. These will boost species in the school wildlife pond.
Ponds will need to be cleared, part of a pond at a time. So, allow part of the area around the pond to remain undisturbed, to act as a safe haven for wildlife during clearance operations. Do these in the autumn, removing dead leaves and some vegetation, in order to maintain the right oxygen levels and ratio of open water to plants in the pond.
For more details to arrange a site visit to create your school wildlife pond, go to Contact page.