March, before the weather warms up too much but after the ground has thawed, is a good time to dig a garden pond, preparatory to planting the pond and the surrounding area in the next couple of months. There are plenty of things to consider when you decide to create a garden pond, one of which is location. Where should you site your wildlife pond? Here are a few things to consider:
Sunlight and Shade
Much of the wildlife that will use your pond will prefer it to be in direct sunlight and as much of it as possible. However, to keep the algae population down, partial shade may be better and this is tolerated by most pond dwelling wildlife and may also be more beneficial for creatures who like to sneak in and use the water's edge. A sunny spot with some overhanging foliage that does not obscure too much light is probably best.
Wind Direction, Leaves and Debris
The pond should be placed in a fairly sheltered place if possible, so it is easier for insects and for creatures which like to sun themselves on the surrounding stones. You should also consider the prevailing wind direction in your garden because if you place your pond in the corner where all the debris and autumn leaves accumulate then you will soon be regretting your choice of pond location as keeping it clear could become a bit of a nightmare.
While you may want to limit the amount of foliage overhanging the pond to prevent too much silt built up and falling leaves you should also consider that the wildlife using the pond will want to have some cover to feel safe. So when you plan the location of your wildlife pond, be sure to plan for dense foliage cover up to at least one edge of the pond. The area around the pond should not all be too open or it could prove more difficult for many of the pond's creatures.
Safety and Common Sense
Of course it should go without saying that you should always be careful not to leave a child unattended around a pond as accidents do happen. Location of your pond may be determined by where young children tend to play. You should be careful not to place your pond somewhere people may be likely to fall in it – right next to a door or gate, for example, or on a route used routinely in the dark (for example, coming in from a garden shed or polytunnel). Wildlife will prefer a rather more out of the way location anyway, so it would be foolish to place your pond on a busy thoroughfare.
A pond, carefully sited and made, will be a superb addition to your wildlife garden.