Myth buster: pond depth

 

My pond is about the same depth as this bucket at its deepest

My pond is about the same depth as this bucket, at its deepest point

Just causally browsing the BBC website and saw a repeat of the common pond depth myth:

‘Create a deeper section of the pond in the middle, at least 60cm deep, so that it doesn’t freeze solid in winter. This will help hibernating wildlife.’

[http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/animals/wildbritain/gardenwildlife/myspace/ content.shtml?24]

As we’ve seen this winter, and as I talked about a few days ago, ponds rarely have more than a couple of inches of ice in this country and and don’t need to be this deep to help hibernating wildlife. There’s little chance of anythng but the very smallest and shallowest ponds freezing solid.

And what determines the amount of oxygen in the water – critical to the survival of overwintering animals – is the volume of the pond (not its depth), whether there is on-going photosynthesis (more likley in a shallow pond than a deep one) and probably the amount of organic matter using up oxygen.

It’s also just occurred to me that there’s absolutely no need to have the deepest area in the middle – in my pond the deepest area is off to one side. In fact in the middle of my three basin pond the water is at its shallowest!

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