We often encourage the creation and management of ponds, but why are they so important? A pond is a ‘transition zone’ between the land and water. It can attract a huge variety of wildlife as well as storing water and being an attractive ‘feature’ of a farm. A pond provides a breeding place for frogs, toads, and dragonflies, as well as food and habitat for a host of other aquatic and land based creatures, from grass snakes, to water voles to kingfishers. In periods of drought, a pond is literally an oasis in a desert; it can provide a drink for grazing stock and wildlife, and a refuge for many species which may otherwise struggle to survive. It has also recently been proved that ponds store huge amounts of carbon and so are very important for mitigating climate change.
Ponds are a stepping stone across dry areas for many wetland creatures and can be incredibly important for species like the water vole, which use them as refuges away from predators and flooding. Even a small garden pond can be an important resting and feeding place for birds etc.
Before you build or manage a pond, consider why you want one. Is it for wildlife, for stock, for water purification, for recreation or just for personal pleasure? The purpose of the pond will influence the design.