Now is a good time of year to do a little maintenance work on your wildlife pond.
The leaves are already being blasted off the trees by the wind in considerable numbers and many of them are finding their way into the pond.
Pond covered with a light net to keep falling leaves out.
A few leaves are okay - they will break down and contribute to the pond habitat; but too many are bad news. Large quantities of rotting leaves and other plant material consume a lot of the oxygen in the water, leaving too little for wildlife. My pond is particularly close to some trees so every autumn I must put a net over it for a couple of months. I also took the opportunity this weekend to thin out a few of the more vigorous plants: the shallow 'beach' end of the pond, in particular, had become very choked. Clearing a space here ensures that during the winter, there will be a good patch of clear, shallow water in which birds can bathe. I also leave this part of the pond free from the cover of the net so that birds can still bathe and drink during the autumn. The relatively small space of shallow water that remains uncovered is easy enough to clear of fallen leaves by hand.
Spring and autumn are also good times to renew your barley-straw bale if you use one to reduce blanket weed
in your pond.