No. 35 discover what's in a pond

Visitors pond-dipping in the burn at Cragside, Northumberland

It may look green and grim, but murky pond water is full of life. Scoop some out into a tub and check out what lives beneath the surface.

You'll need to find a pond for this '50 things to do before you're 11¾' activity, but once you've done that the rest is easy. Ponds may look like not a lot is going on when you're peering at the top of the water, but you'll be amazed what lives below the surface.

You'll need:

  • A white tray or plastic container ready with extra water from the pond in it already.
  • A fine net
  • Somewhere safe to stand or sit for a while
  • An adult to go with you

Top tips for success

  • Keep out of the hot sun (you and whatever you've found in the pond!).
  • Use water the same temperature as pond water in your container or tray.
  • Scoop your net 3 times in a figure of 8 to pick up the smallest creatures and empty them into your tub or tray.
  • If you don't spot anything at first then take a closer look - pond life tends to be really tiny.
  • Remember to return anything you do find back to the pond once you've discovered what it is.