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Netting ponds

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: Conservation
Forum Name: Method & Management
Forum Description: Discuss habitat management, survey methods etc.
Printed Date: 30 Oct 2020 at 5:32am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 -

Topic: Netting ponds
Posted By: Suzy
Subject: Netting ponds
Date Posted: 29 May 2016 at 8:59am
Sadly I am going to have to net my ponds. I'm having trouble with a sea gull (not sure if it is always the same one) swimming in my larger pond and with blackbirds flipping out newts in both ponds.
I had noticed that the surface of my larger pond always looked messy and some of the pond weeds had somehow become uprooted. This has been going on for over a month. It was only when I got up very early one morning and saw a seagull in the pond I worked out that it was the problem. Repeatedly scaring it off had little effect as it soon returned.
Blackbirds walk on the pondweeds or duckweed and watch for a newt to surface and then flick it over a metre onto dry land. Sometimes they eat them, sometimes not.
I have dense plant growth round both ponds and removed a lot of duckweed to deter the 'walking on the water' blackbirds. It has slowed them down but is not a complete success because of other pondweeds acting as walking aids.
The seagull tramples the plants on one pond edge (they are lower growing) to get to the water.
Last night I covered both ponds in a confection of bamboo poles. They look a mess but should do as a stop gap. I saw a seagull at 7.20 this morning completely ignore the larger pond and walk up to the smaller and stick its head into a small gap in the poles and into the water, but this must not have been to its liking as it flew off.
So guys any suggestions on type of net or covers I can buy? I've been looking on the Internet and they all seem to have pros and cons. Cost is not too much of an issue if it means I get something effective.


Posted By: Paul Ford
Date Posted: 02 Jun 2016 at 10:20am
Hi Suzy,

I would have thought any of the garden/fruit/bird netting on ebay would suffice. The larger diameter stuff (25mm?) would enable you to still see in fairly easily which could be an issue with the finer mesh.

Maybe you could consider a wooden frame or some sort of poly tunnel hoops to drape the net over?

I guess you also need to be careful that no grass snakes get caught up...

A real pain in the backside however you look at it!

Hopefully when the birds lose interest / give up you might be able to remove the nettng at some point...?


PS If you PM me your email address i can show you some photos of the netting solutions I have used on my vivs - it might give you some ideas (probably on what not to do!)

Posted By: Caleb
Date Posted: 02 Jun 2016 at 10:47am
I made a wooden frame with 50x50mm green fencing mesh fixed to it for our (very small) garden pond. The main reason was to keep our kids out, but it works for the birds too. It's easy to prop up to get access to the pond when I need to.

I think the resident frogs have become less shy since I did this...

Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 05 Jun 2016 at 11:17pm
Thanks guys for your help. 


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