Give them a good clean-up to keep them healthy for wildlife
Ponds certainly need careful management each year or they’ll become imbalanced as a habitat, whether that’s for your fish or for the wildlife they attract. They need just the right ratio of oxygen to plant material to animal life or they’ll just go all sludgy and disappear or, worse still, become harmful to animals.
Autumn is a good time to get your pond in order, as animal activity is lessened, plus it’s the traditional clear up time as windfalls of leaves or fruit can become a problem.
If your pond has started to smell, it’s a build-up of silt at the base due to lack of oxygen and too much undecomposed plant material. This produces gases that can harm your pondlife, so it's best to give everything a good once over.
When clearing and cleaning your pond be sure to keep an eye out for any dislodged animals you unearth and put them back or by the pond so they can return by themselves.
Products are available to reduce the sludge in your ponds, such as fish, wildlife and environmentallyfriendly Mud Muncher (www. watersidenursery.co.uk; tel: 07931 557082) or Sludge Klear (www.envii.co.uk; tel: 01246 240880).