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Controversial . Garden Ponds

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: General
Forum Name: Wildlife Gardening
Forum Description: For discussion about wildlife (especially amphibian and reptile) gardening
Printed Date: 07 Jul 2020 at 3:40pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 -

Topic: Controversial . Garden Ponds
Posted By: Alan Hyde
Subject: Controversial . Garden Ponds
Date Posted: 09 Aug 2017 at 5:13pm
I subject I've often wanted to approach but refrained from doing so due to the attitude on FB 

Is creating a wildlife pond in your garden ethically the right thing to do ? 

I've often seen posts promoting the creation of wildlife ponds in gardens , but my experience makes me reluctant to ever do so again . 
Having moved house three times I worry about what will happen to the harmonious habitats I created . My worries where proven to be justified with every move . In each case the new home owners filled in the ponds with no regard for the life inhabiting . I offered each time to call round and remove as much as possible , but was never contacted . 
Should we create a wildlife pond if our lives may take us elsewhere in the future ? 

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Posted By: PondDragon
Date Posted: 09 Aug 2017 at 5:38pm
I think it's in the nature of many ponds to be somewhat temporary, and most of the species are quite good at dispersing in search of new ponds. So even if a pond only lasts a few years, it's still helping to maintain populations of amphibians, invertebrates etc. in the wider area.

Plus some species prefer newly created ponds, and naturally decline or disappear in more mature ponds, so they're helped more by a succession of new ponds than continuity of older ones.

To look at it another way, if people weren't creating wildlife ponds in their gardens then there would be a lot fewer ponds overall, and a lot less pond wildlife. So I don't see the ethical downside - some individuals may suffer when ponds get filled in, but the populations are benefiting.

Posted By: VickyS
Date Posted: 10 Aug 2017 at 9:12am
Totally agree with PondDragon although also see your point Alan. I have just sold my house complete with breeding newt pond. I plan to leave them a detailed guide to my garden in the hope that it encourages them to keep the wildflower meadow, hibernacula, trees and pond! I'm gutted to be losing all this but have had to due to personal circumstances.

Posted By: Alan Hyde
Date Posted: 10 Aug 2017 at 1:15pm
Thanks for your thoughts folks 

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Posted By: Hawley
Date Posted: 10 Aug 2017 at 1:38pm
I'm with pondragon on this, a lot of ponds seem to be temporary.  We filled ours in when we had children and seem to have more amphibeans in the garden now than when we had the pond............

Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 10 Aug 2017 at 2:38pm
Good point Al. 

I pretty much left a trail of garden ponds in my wake, at my family home, my mum's new home back in the 80's etc.

A couple of thoughts, as PondDragon says pond habitats are transient in any case. Even if not filled in they may mature and become less viable over time and I have seen this in the wild many times. Once great sites slowly changed by nature. However a new pond is always a wildlife magnet, so there is an argument we should create as many as we can but perhaps accept their individual future in many cases may be unknown or out of our control.

I think on balance, I would build a pond wherever and whenever I could! 

Though it is nice to be somewhere settled and our current clay pond should last a good few years. 

We did put the house on the market a few years back just to gauge reaction. Out of 4 prospective buyers, 3 had no interest in the wildlife garden, being dismissive of it, one prospective buyer though loved it and had one at their current property. So if a house sale is not rushed, just about viable to sell to a like minded person. Though on balance the benefit of creating new probably far outweighs the loss of the old in my mind, so just getting diggging. Smile

Posted By: Suzi
Date Posted: 10 Aug 2017 at 4:18pm
A neighbour next but one put in a pond liner about 15 years ago. The pond was a good one for breeding frogs and no doubt had newts as well. She died a few years ago and her husband who had less interest in it let it start growing in. I sometimes wonder if the appearance of GCNs in my ponds was because their's was becoming unsuitable. The husband sold up in May and now there are people with a toddler there. I guess they will have filled in the pond. I suppose you just have to look at all the years their pond did help wildlife.


Posted By: chubsta
Date Posted: 10 Aug 2017 at 7:33pm
I have had newts in my pond this last 18 months for the first time in probably 20 years. I found out just a couple of days ago that their appearance coincided with a pond being filled in about 50 years up the road, the new owner of the property being very concerned about the danger to his grandchildren apparently. 

 I would say that any haven, however temporary, can only be a good thing and can help repopulate areas where something has perhaps gone wrong in the past, such as a pollution-affected pond.

Posted By: Alan Hyde
Date Posted: 10 Aug 2017 at 7:47pm
Appreciate all the input . What I'm talking about are people like the ones who bought my last house in May . They just put a huge pipe in , turned on a pump and down the drain . The pond was brick built , 12ft x 6ft x 6ft . That's a lot of death 

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Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 11 Aug 2017 at 11:18am
I guess Al we just cannot control people and though I can see where you are coming from people do these things if we are involved or not. I spent some time on garden forums and was appalled at some of the attitudes. Not unusual for someone for example who did not like frogs to ask advice and be told to put the spawn on a compost heap before it hatched and grew legs! Filling in wildlife ponds was the norm for new house owners  it seemed and no regard was given to what might live in or use the pond.

In all I've seen a lot of death of animals, be it garden ponds, wildlife sites, development sites. I feel driven to do whatever small things I can to help. So even if building a pond is short lived it is something to address the balance against a background of general death and destruction. 

For sure though I would have issues if we did move from our current house and the wildlife garden was destroyed. I think I would find it hard to sleep at night thinking about it. So your point is really valid and we should perhaps all at least consider if our efforts are a benefit to the animals in the long run. 

Perhaps if there is good viable adjoining habitat for example it is worth the risk to give a population a special haven within the wider scheme of the population? In a more isolated spot perhaps better not to attract animals that have no other options? Not sure but it opens the mind to the possible consequences of what we do to help wildlife.

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