28 June 2010

Wildlife ponds: a “national responsibility”

Tips on tiny ponds, newt-friendly planting and attractive compost heaps for grass snake egg-laying were dished out to thousands of visitors to this year’s Gardeners World Live.

“One piece of advice that went down particularly well was choosing plants that prove attractive to newts as egg-laying sites. Once spring comes round again, we'd advise getting out there with a torch at night to see the newt soap opera unfold...” said Froglife’s Jules Howard.

A wide range of plants with thin and easily folded leaves are used for egg-laying by newts. These include water forget-me not Myosotis scorpioides, watermint Mentha aquatica and marsh marigold Caltha palustris. (see our Just Add Water advice – planning for plants)

Froglife also took the time to gather memories and personal stories from show visitors about their garden’s populations of amphibians and reptiles. These comments will be collated, and reported on, in due course.

“My Mrs watches Big Brother. Me? I prefer to listen to the toads and frogs in the garden!” said one member of the public. Other stories included allotment owners considering ponds as a nursery ground for rearing organic pesticide control (translation: frogs and newts), and the value of ponds as places for contemplation and quiet remembrance.

“Having a wildlife pond should be a pre-requisite of any allotment or wildlife garden – it’s a national responsibility, a no-brainer,” said another visitor to the Froglife stand.

For more information on building or looking after a pond to attract amphibians and reptiles visit: Just Add Water.