Mini-wetlands for nature

Every wetland, no matter how small, makes a difference

Creating mini wetlands, like ponds, rain gardens and drainpipe wetlands, gives nature a huge boost because freshwater wetlands support more life per square kilometre than any other type of habitat.

Wetlands Can logo sitting in an illustration of a pond with a bird perching, dragonfly hovering and frog leaping

Smaller wetlands are often even more wildlife-rich, with ponds supporting two thirds of all wetland plants and animals found in Britain.

Mini-wetlands act as biodiversity ‘hot spots’ because they have a large variety of mini-habitats which support lots of different wildlife. They often contain areas of wet mud, shallow water, deep pools and different types of vegetation, all of which are vital homes to a huge range of species, including pond worms, diving beetles, dragonflies, water snails, frogs and newts.

Close up of a great diving beetle under water

As well as providing homes for a plethora of wildlife, mini-wetlands also provide drinking water, bathing areas and food for lots of other animals including birds, bats, bees, butterflies, and hedgehogs. They are also a key refuge in times of drought.

They can be important habitats for endangered species like great crested newts, European eels, natterjack toads, the Norfolk hawker dragonfly and the great silver water beetle.

Create your own mini-wetland

Our step-by-step guides will help you build a mini-wetland that’s right for you.

How to guides

When compared to other freshwater habitats ponds often outperform lakes and rivers in the number of nationally scarce and IUCN red list species they support.

(Wright et al., 1996; Biggs et al., 2005).

Spotter sheets

Discover the wildlife that loves mini-wetlands with our spotter guide to the insects, amphibians and other creatures that can be found in and alongside the water.

Download now

Urban ponds can support a similar number of invertebrate species to that of non-urban ponds (Hill et al. 2016). The wildlife communities found across urban ponds are more varied than non-urban ponds.