Hi, I've a wildlife pond that I built approx 2.5 yrs ago, and it looks awfully crowded with the native vegetation that I put in when it was established. I'm just wondering whether I should clear some of the vegetation out, or whether this might destroy eggs/larvae etc that may be over-wintering in it?
The first yr there were many frogs in and around the pond, but very few sighted this yr; however, I saw Newts in Spring, and many Dragonflies nymphs crawled out of the pond and flew away and there are loads of water boatmen and pond snails. Can someone please advise me? Thank you

My suggestion would be to remove some of the most aggressive vegetation to leave some open water in your pond, but to remove it only onto the bank for a day or two to give any animal life on it a chance to crawl back into the water.  You could seek specific advice about the plants in your pond from your local wildlife trust.

As Dan says, it depends on what vegetation you have but as a general rule, aim to remove 1/3rd each year on rotation. If you have common reedmace ('bulrushes'), aim to clear 1/2 per year.

The most important thing is to ensure that your water quality is very high (NO tap water!), that you have a mix of species occupying different zones (submerged, emergent, marginal etc.) and that these are predominantly native species. It sounds as if it is doing well, so I'd suggest 1/3rd removal between November and February, when most critters undergo their winter diapause.

You can find more information at the excellent Pond Conservation http://www.pondconservation.org.uk/ or through ARCTrust http://www.arc-trust.org/advice/FAQs/ponds.php