Adding a water body to your garden is a commonly suggested method of attracting wildlife to your garden. Even the smallest of ponds can still provide habitats for water beetles and other aquatic invertebrates. Pre-formed ponds are available at many garden outlets, which is a relatively quick and easy solution as you only really need to dig the hole to fit the shape. Often these have shallow areas as well as deeper areas, which is ideal for marginal and deep-water plants. For smaller spaces you could consider a series of plant pots of different depths with pond liners inside. These could be arranged in the ground or above ground, with the latter meaning they are potentially moveable depending on the size. If you own a larger space, perhaps you would consider a larger pond as a feature in the landscape.
One key thing to remember is to include provisions for small mammals, such as hedgehogs, to escape should they decide to take an unplanned swim. This could be a wooden ramp, or a shallow gravelly area for them to walk up. Also, including fish in the pond will limit its value for native fauna so leaving these out or including them in a non-wildlife pond would be best.
Native Plant Ideas
Submerged oxygenating plants – water violet Hottonia palustris and rigid hornwort Ceratophyllum demersum.
Floating plants – frogbit Hydrocharis morsus-ranae and common water-crowfoot Ranunculus aquatalis.
Marginal plants – yellow flag Iris Iris Pseudacorus, Watermint Mentha aquatica and water forget-me-not Myosotis scorpioides.