Country diary: spawn to be wild

Reach, Cambridgeshire: A mini rewilding project brings exquisite new amphibian life to the garden

I’ve loosened our garden’s reins and let it run free as an experiment to see how much wildness might return to it from the surrounding fenland, woodland and grassland. In the spring I laid aside my weeding fork, made a tiny pond from an old cattle sink, planted seedlings of knapweed, cornflower and borage, dialled down my urge for neatness, stood back and watched.

The wildlife didn’t dawdle shyly at the perimeter. A companionable flock of house sparrows, a kaleidoscope of hoverfly and bee species, and a family of bank voles have staked their claims on these few square metres of soil, yet I knew the pond would take a little longer to establish and find its balance. I helped it along with a scoop of mud from a fenland ditch, a bundle of oxygenating hornwort and a small jamjar of wriggling tadpoles.

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Source: The Guardian
Country diary: spawn to be wild