Wildlife pond provides natural therapy during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 July 2020

Lockdown pond wildlife. Picture: Karen Greenslade

Lockdown pond wildlife. Picture: Karen Greenslade

Karen Greenslade

A Sidmouth couple have created a mini wildlife haven in their garden by building a ‘lockdown pond’.

The pond, with the surroundings still taking shape, in the Greenslades' garden. Picture: Karen GreensladeThe pond, with the surroundings still taking shape, in the Greenslades' garden. Picture: Karen Greenslade

Simon Greenslade, who runs the Humbug gift shop in Sidmouth, made the pond for his wife Karen, who suffers from ME and was already virtually housebound before the Covid-19 restrictions came in.

She said: “We have been meaning to build a wildlife pond for a while, and as our shop has been closed due to the coronavirus, it was the perfect opportunity to do so.”

The pond was dug out by hand and then lined with sand, underlay and a liner.

Mrs Greenslade said: “It’s been quite challenging as the ground is on a slight incline, so the lower end had to be built up.

A grasshopper on a bog arum leaf, with a hoverfly underneath. Picture: Karen GreensladeA grasshopper on a bog arum leaf, with a hoverfly underneath. Picture: Karen Greenslade

“Simon built in shelves at different heights ready for the various types of pond plants going in. There is also a shallow, sloping beach area at one end, allowing animals access in and out of the water, and for birds to drink and bathe.

“The bare liner edges, which can get very hot in the sun, are currently cobbled until the edging plants have established. We have used native plants, apart from the lily, which is a little too vigorous for a small pond. We have floating grasses, marginals and oxygenating plants. All are important for a successful pond.

“I have always been interested in wildlife, and since becoming virtually housebound almost three years ago, have found the connection with nature even more important.

“Our garden is already quite wildlife friendly. We have numerous butterflies, bees, flies, and birds visiting. The laurel hedge that backs onto our garden has had many nesting birds this year.

Lockdown pond wildlife. Picture: Karen GreensladeLockdown pond wildlife. Picture: Karen Greenslade

“The pond is already attracting damselflies and dragonflies. It is very relaxing sitting, or lying next to it, listening to the birds and watching the comings and goings. We have bats in our area, so the pond insects will be an extra welcome food supply for them.”

Mrs Greenslade said she was aware that many people have been struggling mentally with all the stress of the coronavirus, among other things, and would be interested to hear whether building a garden pond and attracting wildlife has helped others to cope.

Lockdown pond wildlife. Picture: Karen GreensladeLockdown pond wildlife. Picture: Karen Greenslade


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