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How a mini-wetland revolution could help UK wildlife beat the heat and boost urban biodiversity

With soaring summer temperatures just firing up, the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) wants as many people as possible across the UK to build their own mini-wetlands to help local wildlife. Communications and Campaigns Manager Penny Read explains what mini-wetlands are, what they do for us and nature, and how you can help.

July 2023

As the mercury rises, many sources of water that our wildlife would have relied on to survive will disappear, following the trend of the last 300 years, which has seen the UK lose 75% of our wetlands. But there is a way we can all help reverse the UK’s devastating decline in biodiversity, provide space for nature and help feed our birds, bats and bugs – that solution is a mini-wetland.

These small blue spaces might be tiny ponds, drainpipe wetlands or bog gardens and can happily fit in any outdoor space – including balconies, helping nature not only survive, but thrive in soaring temperatures. Through this campaign, we want to unlock the superpowers of mini-wetlands and help more people create them in gardens, backyards and on balconies across the UK.

Wetlands support more life than any other habitat on earth, and mini-wetlands like ponds are often more nature-rich metre for metre than larger water bodies such as rivers and lakes. Research has also shown that these small wetlands in built-up areas can support similar levels of insect life to their rural counterparts. By building mini-wetlands, like ponds, you will give nature the biggest boost possible because freshwater wetlands support more life per square kilometre than any other type of habitat.

To help budding pond-builders get started we have published a Make a Big Splash for Nature booklet and created some step-by-step videos to guide you through the simple process. Once you've created your personal watery oasis, we'd encourage you to share photos with us via social media at @WWTWorldwide using the hashtag #WetlandsCan. Please also share with your colleagues, friends and your family to inspire more action.

It won't be long before the first signs of life appear and if you’re lucky you might one day find breeding frogs, bathing birds or metamorphosing insects enjoying the habitat you’ve created for them.

As important as mini-wetlands are, they are only part of the solution and we’re pushing for the creation of 100,000 more hectares of wetlands in the UK. Will you help us achieve this by signing the Wetlands Can pledge today? 

More details about the Wetlands Can mini-wetlands campaign can be found here.

Penny Read is communications and campaign manager at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), follow @WWTWorldwide

The opinions expressed in this blog are held by the authors and not necessarily those of the wider Link membership.