Transforming our pond for wildlife

Blog post by Garden and Projects Volunteer, Jasmine Kular-Whittingham

The centre is currently undergoing an exciting redevelopment! The on-site garden, which is valued by colleagues and visitors alike, is being redesigned to incorporate a new sensory and exploratory area.

The pond which sits at the back of the garden has not been utilised over the past few seasons due to an incredibly hot summer, and unpredictable winter weather. But this is about to change thanks to Education Co-ordinator, Anne Dasgupta, and the voluntary team. Over the past few weeks, there has been a flurry of cleaning, designing and planning to help revitalise the garden space.

Current plans aim to create a sensory garden, which will encourage visitors to engage with the garden through the senses of touch and smell. The green space will consist not only of wonderfully aromatic plants, but there are upcoming plans to create a physical structure, such as a mud play area, to engage our younger visitors.

Of course, the star of this part of the garden is the pond. Over the past year it has been through drought and flooding alike, so the team are working hard to tackle any environmental hurdles that may impact the pond’s performance as a wildlife sanctuary.

Due to its location by the road, we are committed to utilising the pond as a safe haven for frogs and other wildlife that may wish to use it during spring mating season. We have shortlisted an interesting selection of pond-friendly plants, which we hope to pair with willow structure to draw visitors towards this area of the garden.

To gauge just how much wildlife is visiting our pond, we are very excited that we will soon set up a wildlife camera which will allow us to monitor pond usage, whilst giving our wildlife the space and safety to develop without disturbance.

Overall, the garden is experiencing an exciting period of change and we hope to have this complete in time for summer. We are excited that we are maximising the space we have on-site, and this will benefit on-site educational programs such as Stories for Nature and provide options to potential grow more produce on site. Not only will there be a benefit for visitors to the centre, but this will undoubtedly support the local wildlife that we value and strive to protect.

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