Attracting British Amphibians to your Water Garden
One of the main attractions when creating a water feature in our gardens is, the hope that we will attract that lovely and sometimes comical, array of amphibians. We all like the idea of a bit of home conservation, and inviting Frogs, Toads and Newts to live and breed in your gardens is easier than you think. There are two important factors to consider first though, and the first the design of your pond. The second is, to incorporate and establish the right types of pond plants that these little fellows will love. If you plan your garden or water feature carefully, below is a list of British Amphibians that you can expect to see in your water garden:-
Marsh Frogs (South East England)
Great Crested Newts
Palmate Newts (not South East England)
I have not included our Naterjack Toad as it is rare and confined to select coastal areas where there are marshes and sandy pools in which they prefer to breed in.
The most important factor to consider when creating the ideal environment is that it will suit the needs of all the amphibians that we hope to attract. A good start would be to try and create a low gradient beach area where land meets water. This area can be back filled with aquatic soil and when planted with low growing foliage plants, will provide an essential entrance, exit and escape route for all amphibians. The only other thing that is essential in your creation is to incorporate a selection of different levels (planting shelves). About 7-9 inches and 12-16 inches below the water surface is ideal. The bottom of the pond can be anything from 18 inches deep for small ponds and 36 inches deep for large ponds.
Below is a guide of all the plants that will attract our lovely amphibians and give you a head start in creating the perfect environment to keep them happy in.
For the beach area (amphibian entrance and exit to and from the water.)
Protective cover for Tadpoles and baby Newts
A selection of plants on which different species of Newts can attach their eggs to.
Shallow under water foliage plants for 7-9 inch shelves (ideal for spawning Frogs.)
Rushes and grasses for spawning Toads
When the spring arrives, there is nothing more worthy and rewarding like the sight of thousands of black Tadpoles swimming around a pond that you have created. It’s definitely a spectacle to behold that you can be proud to say that you have been part of and have helped make happen.