Woodland water featuresAndrew Staib2020-10-06T16:24:01+01:00
Woodland water features
Ponds and Lakes
Ponds are enjoyed by all the family! It’s a great way to learn about habitats and life cycles. Catching a newt or water boatman are really memorable experiences for everyone.
Water and wetlands are a vital part of our natural world, adding the aesthetic of a pond in your woodland will attract even more wildlife, from frogs and toads to dragonflies and herons.
Adding stones, logs and plants to the edges of your pond creates habitats for pond-visiting creatures as well as being decorative. Glorious Woodlands will help you choose pond plants, when plants are chosen well they become a balanced ecological state and don’t require much maintenance as a result.
Scrapes are shallow excavations in the ground, the seasonally high water table means they fill with water for parts of the year. Scrapes are best suited to rough grassland or open woodland. Glorious Woodlands can make scrapes in areas with seasonally high water. This creates a valuable habitat for invertebrates, amphibians and waterfowl. Small scrapes can be excavated in any area where the ground conditions are suitable. They are usually around 7 to 8 metres in diameter with a gently sloping depth of 500mm.
Marshes are great near new ponds, a marshy area can be useful as a silt trap or filter for water entering the pond. To guarantee a high quality pond, Glorious Woodlands will normally use an artificial lining. The water can be supplied to the marsh from an open inlet or a perforated pipe below the surface.
Existing damp ground areas can be improved as a marshy habitat. Slowing the flow of water by a low impoundment or diverting rainwater or stream water into hollows can develop damp ground into a marsh. Also, leaky ponds such as cracked concrete ponds can be turned into marshes.
Glorious Woodlands recommends to complete a marsh area in spring or autumn and we will plant immediately after completion which reduces competition from other plants. Planting distances will be close, about 200mm, to reduce competition from unnecessary plants such as coarse grasses. Glorious Woodlands will contact the Environment Agency to make sure the waterworks falls under permitted development.
Plants for marshes
Forget-me-not (Myosotis sp)
Greater spearwort (Ranunculus lingua)
Hemp agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum)
Marsh woundwort (Stachys palustris)
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata)
Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
Water speedwell (Veronica anagallis-aquatica)
Watermint (Mentha aquatica)
Islands are a valuable habitat within larger ponds and lakes, especially during the breeding season. Islands are a safe nesting site, favoured by ducks, terns and waders. Vegetation on islands has to be carefully managed to maintain the favoured conditions for particular species. Glorious Woodlands does not recommend building islands on ponds less than half a hectare in size. In order to maximise diversity, several smaller islands are more beneficial than one large island.
Glorious Woodlands can create remnant islands, these are areas left unexcavated during the construction of a pond or lake. Similarly, spoil or deposit islands are created from material dumped into position.
The further the island is from shore, the safer it will be against predators and thus the more attractive it is for birds.
Similarly to woodland edges, convoluted island edges and bays increase the edge effect and provide shelter and feeding areas for birds. The downside of this is that they are liable to erosion. When planning the shape of islands, Glorious Woodlands will take the prevailing wind into account. Shrubs and dense vegetation up to 1.5 metres tall is an ideal site for waterfowl nesting, this reduces the predation of nests and young ducklings. It may be necessary for Glorious Woodlands to fence off the island in the first season to allow vegetation to establish.
Glorious Woodlands can create floating rafts. These are suitable for nesting and loafing sites in areas where the water is too deep for island construction. The benefits of rafts are that they are useful for birds and they are not affected by changing water levels. Rafts can have vegetation suitable for wildfowl or covered with shingle for terns. Rafts are not normally visited by predators so they can be situated fairly close to shore. Nesting boxes and duckling ramps can be helpful additions to a raft. Nesting baskets can be placed on stilts, away from overhanging branches, where water levels can be controlled.
Planting in your pond
Glorious Woodlands will make sure your new pond has a 100mm thick layer of subsoil or similar material to provide a habitat for pond organisms and rooting zone for plants.
We can create underwater reefs from material such as stones, which leaves gaps to provide valuable habitats for newts, frogs and toads.
The water quality will improve as oxygenating plants and other organisms establish. Glorious Woodlands will plant a few weeks after the pond is constructed, this should be sufficient time for the water to stabilise. The best time to plant is May and June as plants will establish quickly.
Glorious Woodlands will establish submerged oxygenating plants first because of their importance in maintaining water quality. We recommend the pond edge to be boarded by long grass, shrubs and other vegetation because this encourages animals to access your pond. To protect new plantings, Glorious Woodlands can use a temporary fence of chicken wire and mesh to keep out waterfowl.
Plants for your pond
Free floating –
Frog-bit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae),
Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum),
Submerged rooted plants –
Curled pondweed (Potamogeton crispus),
Water-crowfoot (Ranunculus aquatilis),
Water violet (Hottonia palustris),
Floating-leaved rooted plants –
Broad-leaved pondweed (Potamogeton natans),
Fringed water-lily (Nymphoides peltata),
Emergent plants –
Amphibious bistort (Polygonum amphibium),
Arrowhead (Sagittaria sagittifolia),
Flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus),
Lesser spearwort (Ranunculus flammula),
Lesser water-plantain (Baldellia ranunculoides),
Sweet-flag (Acorus calamus),
Water plantain (Alisma plantago-aquatica),
Watercress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum),
Not only are ponds relaxing, ponds are oases of wildlife. Even small ponds enhances your woodland with a wealth of species including bees who rest on floating plants to drink.
Ponds support aquatic plants and large invertebrates. In early Spring, the common frog and smooth newt colonise in garden ponds. In summer, you will have plenty of pond-dipping to enjoy, including diving beetles, dragonflies and aquatic snails.
Your pond will be a feeding ground for birds, hedgehogs and bats who are the best natural pest controllers!