Inspired by a piece on CBBC's 'Wild' as well as the RSPB's Giving Nature a Home campaign we decided to build a mini pond for our garden. Once upon a time we planned a bigger pond for our little patch and then we got chickens so now there is no space for the pond, but a mini pond we reckoned we could do.
We used the instructions on the 'Wild' website as a guideline. We had an old tin plant pot shaped like a bath but a bit smaller, some old clay pots, a couple of stones, sand out of the sand pit that we got rid of earlier in the year and some gravel that we had used for the herb bed. The only things we had to buy were the pond plants. We were ready for a cheap transformation from old pot to a #homefornature.
This is how we did it:
1/ First gather your materials - large tub, pot (without holes), 2 or 3 clay plant pots, 2 or 3 large stones, some washed sand, a few handfuls of gravel, some water plants and some water (rainwater please - not from the tap)
2/ Spread the sand in the bottom of your large tub/pot or whatever you are using for your pond and put your clay pots in grouped together and upside down - they are for creature hidey holes!
3/ Put your stones and rocks in - some over the top of the pots (but not covering the holes so wee creatures can get in) and layer them so that the animals can climb in and out and shelter in nooks and crannies.
4/Put your water plants in - we got a native mare's tail and a bunch of weed stuff - hopefully this will help to oxygenate the water.
5/ Put your pond in place and carefully add a couple of handfuls of gravel to the top of the plant pots and over the sand.
6/ Collect your rainwater - we are lucky here in that we have a rainwater collection tank under the garden which we can pump water up from anytime (as long as it's not empty!)
7/ Very carefully pour your water in - you will find the pond is muddy looking to start with but it clears after a couple of days.
8/ Wait and watch out for the wildlife to come and visit!
We also added a sign - just to make sure that the frogs know the pond is available!
I even took a photo of it at night that you can see here - when Bigger Miss and I slept out in the tent for the RSPB's #BigWildSleepout which was lots of fun - bats, crickets and shooting stars all in one night!
We have also put the nest box up that Bigger Miss made at her Brownies visit to B and Q so we're hoping that we get some birds setting up home in the spring.
In the meantime we have spotted a couple of frogs in the garden but I think they were there before the pond. Hopefully they will use it in the spring - we may even get frogspawn! We are also going to make a frog and toad home to put near the pond that they can use. We got this idea from an RHS kids book called 'Wildlife Garden' and you just need to put a clay pot on it's side in a small hole, half bury it and then add a few damp leaves inside to make a nice bed for the frog.
In fact we have been inspired by the whole RSPB Homes for Nature campaign and loads of other British nature things going on this summer like the National Trust #50things to do before you are 11 3/4 (making a mini pond ticks off another of these too) and the BBC Summer of Wildlife - a great British summer in more ways than one. Hopefully you might be inspired to get out there and Give Nature a Home this weekend - there's loads of ideas on the RSPB website both big and small so go on give it a go!
Disclosure : this post is in no way sponsored or recompensed I just want to help nature and love this campaign.
I am linking up to Country Kids as this seems like a perfect post for anyone to get there own little slice of the country.