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Attracting Wildlife to your Garden With Water

Attracting wildlife to your outdoor area has been a tricky task for gardeners up and down the country.

Whilst there are a number of innovative solutions to invite the insects and bring in the birds, most people are overlooking the tools that they have ready at hand or those they may not have thought of. The inclusion of a pond or water feature can not only be an attractive addition to any garden but can entice a whole host of wildlife. From birds and hedgehogs to frogs and dragonflies, a pond can be a veritable meeting place for a wide variety of animals and insects.

Having a water feature in your garden is more important than ever before. With so many green spaces being taken over for housing and business developments, global biodiversity is at an all-time low. If care is not taken to protect and conserve this precious group of pond dwellers their decline may not be noticed until it is too late. However gardeners can play a huge role in reversing this trend. A small pond or water feature is an ideal way to assist in their preservation.

Creating the perfect environment for water loving wildlife to flourish does not have to involve a complete garden makeover. No matter what the size of garden you may have, there are many small changes you can make to attract wildlife to your home. A simple bird bath would be enough to encourage a vast array of garden birds, who visit the water to drink and bathe. It is very important that birds have access to water throughout the year, not only for their well-being but to help keep them clean and to insulate them from the cold. If you do happen to have the space for a pond or large water feature, you can expect to attract a multitude of creatures.

Frogs, toads and newts all use small bodies of water to breed. Unfortunately, the recent years have seen a huge reduction in their numbers, with the common toad now considered 'at risk' due to a loss of suitable habitation. A graduated pond or multi-layered water feature with some shallow and deeper areas can be an ideal spot for them to lay their eggs. Large leaf plants around the water’s edge provide shade and protection from predators.

Encouraging hedgehogs into your garden is mutually beneficial for both the hedgehog and the gardener. As most gardeners know, hedgehogs act as a wonderful natural pesticide, eating many of the bugs and snails which attack plants. Hedgehogs need water or they will dehydrate. They are good swimmers, but many die in water, as most ponds have no way for the hedgehog to get out. A gently sloping water feature or ramp can aid a hedgehog and increase their chances of survival.

To maximise your water feature's impact on wildlife, try to select the area of garden which gets the most sunshine. Submerged green plants will keep the water oxidised and large plants around part of the perimeter will provide shade and hiding places for smaller animals.

You will be surprised how quickly animals will be attracted to your pond or water feature. Not only will you be providing much needed habitation, but without doubt you will come to love watching the comings and goings of its inhabitants.

Walter Bucket works with UK Water Features to develop innovative products to inform and delight their customers

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