Call James on 07973 796 406 for further information

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_5″ layout=”1_5″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no” element_content=””][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”3_5″ layout=”3_5″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

If your pond is drying out it can look like a disaster for wildlife. But fear not…

In the wild, drought in natural ponds is not nearly bad as it seems. According to the Freshwater Habitats Trust approximately 40% of our lowland countryside ponds do dry out in drought years. Surveys show that ponds that occasionally dry out are amongst the most wildlife rich ponds of all! This is seemingly because pond wildlife and plants are well adapted to living in ponds which dry out. Garden ponds however, unlike their wild counterparts, are usually lined and often have little silt. This means there may not be enough damp sediment at the bottom of the pond for creatures to burrow into and survive.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_5″ layout=”1_5″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no” element_content=””][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_5″ layout=”1_5″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no” element_content=””][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”3_5″ layout=”3_5″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

Even in a garden pond drying out is unlikely to be a complete disaster as there’s a good chance that almost everything that can fly will leave the pond and come back later; Mayflies and most Damselflies will already have emerged from the pond as flying adults. Most Dragonfly nymphs will have emerged. Older amphibians with legs will be able to hop away from the pond, sadly immature amphibians will probably perish without enough damp sediment.

Fish obviously do not like very shallow or dry ponds, this is clearly an issue in garden ponds but, in the wild, losing fish is often a benefit to other wildlife. Fish are major pond predators and the year after a drought is often an exceptionally good one for other wetland animals.

You can let garden ponds drop quite low before having to worry about losing any animals. Most pond creatures, including tadpoles, will be happy in a few centimetres of water, especially if there is plenty of plant life. Fish obviously will require more water, they need to be able to move and feed, fish will die in shallow dry ponds.

[/fusion_text][fusion_slider hover_type=”none” width=”” height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=””][fusion_slide type=”image” link=”” lightbox=”no” linktarget=”_self”]https://www.james-gillies.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/IMG_5859-2-1024×501.jpg[/fusion_slide][/fusion_slider][fusion_text]

Ideally to prevent your pond from totally drying, use water from rainwater butts.

To prolong the water butt supply you can let the pond dry down to a low level and maintain it with just a few centimetres of water.

What happens if you run out of water in your rainwater butt? We recommend just letting the pond dry outthis may be a little heart wrenching when you’ve worked hard to maintain your pond, but drying out is a natural process that has been going on in ponds for millennia.  This is probably why pond animals are so well adapted and mobile, they will re-colonise new ponds and be back as soon as your pond recovers.

Tap water top-ups..

Whether you top up your pond to stop it drying out completely is entirely your choice.  These are somethings you might want to consider when making the decision:

If you regularly fill your pond with tap water– just carry on. Your pond is probably already relatively high in nutrients, so adding more will make very little difference.

If you want to avoid adding unwanted chemicals to your pond you can check on your water company website if your water is contaminated by nutrients. If the nitrate level is below about 2 milligrams per litre this should be fine for short term use in ponds.

Tap water will often also contain nitrosamines, these are disinfection chemicals which have replaced chlorine and which are toxic to some vegetation and water creatures.

Intervening to save the pond inhabitants

If you can’t bear to let the pond dry out without intervening you can try to rescue your creatures;wait until the pond is down to its last couple of cm of water, and then transfer plants and animals into buckets or tanks, then add the remaining pond water to be sure you get a good zooplankton population within your makeshift habitats. Make sure there is somewhere where amphibians can rest and climb out of your temporary habitats (Froglets can drown without refuge areas!). These buckets and tanks may heat up quickly so it is important that they are in shaded cooler garden areas.

Creating these temporary creature havens will save your ponds inhabitants but should avoid permanently increasing the level of pollutants in your pond.

For more information on wetland habitats visit ourWetlands page.

Pond research from www.freshwaterhabitats.org.uk

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_5″ layout=”1_5″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no” element_content=””][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

James Gillies MIgrAM

Suite C, Unit 1, Eagle Industrial Estate, Witney, Oxon, OX28 4YR

Phone: 07973  796 406
Email: Send me and email

Subscribe