Tyre PondsIntroduction to the Project

Tyre Ponds in Playgrounds forms the first step in our Creatures in the Classroom project.

The tyre pond is made of an old car tyre (often collected from the River Wandle) covered in a thick PVC sheet to hold the pond water. The water will be no deeper than 30 centimetres.


This water will be home to four plants – all of which will be flowering plants that live in or next to the River Wandle.

Plants might include water mint, yellow flag iris, water forget me not, marsh marigold, wild watercress, cuckoo flower, purple loosestrife, lesser celandine or wood sedge.

They have been selected not only for their colours but also the scents that they give out when touched. This will excite the children and arouse their curiosity to find out more.

It is hoped that these flowering plants will initially attract insects like harmless bees and hoverflies. In the longer term it is hoped that damselflies and mayflies will be attracted to the pond.

You may wish for the mature plants to be ‘released’ to the River Wandle.

Resources supplied by the Wandle Trust

The Trust will supply:

  • One used car tyre
  • One sheet of PVC to cover the tyre
  • Four flowering plants
  • Planting basket filled with aquatic soil
  • Grit
  • Hand trowel for planting
  • Plastic mesh to protect the tyre pond from little fingers!
  • On-going help and advice

The tyre pond can be set up at any time of the year and at a time that best suits you the teacher and your children.

The Trust also offers:

  • FREE introductory presentation to classes – with images, music and video or FREE introductory ‘finger puppet’ story about the River Wandle (where requested) designed to excite the children or an interactive session using our interpretation board (that focuses on matching river animals and plants with habitats).

You may chose to the ‘release’ the plants to the River Wandle at a convenient time – say at the end of term. The Trust would be happy to help organise this event (advise on a suitable site which is safe and accessible to very young children) but will not be responsible for transporting children to and from the release site.

Resources NOT supplied by The Wandle Trust

  • Tap water to fill the tyre pond
  • A bucket to fill the pond
  • A sunny/partial sunny site to encourage the plants to grow and flower
  • If you choose to ‘release’ the plants back to the River Wandle transport to and from the release site may be need to be organised. Adequate staff assistance may also be required.

We can set up the tyre pond and introduce the plants on one visit – it takes about 20 minutes. The children are invited  to help in the construction of the tyre pond.  A maximum of ten children ensures that everyone has a meaningful role.

The children  will get dirty hands and will need to wash them thoroughly afterwards! It is best that they wear wellington boots.

Expertise and Commitment

No expertise is required – all we ask is that the water level is checked particularly in hot weather when the water level may drop. It may need topping up now and again with tap water


The cost of the project is UK £5.00. The cost will need to be paid upfront to ‘The Wandle Trust’ before the programme begins.

Further Information

If you have any further questions then do e-mail education@wandletrust.org

If you would like your school to take part in the Tyre Ponds in the Playground project then email education@wandletrust.org. Please indicate in your email:

  1. The easiest way to get back in touch with you – telephone number (call or text?) or email?
  2. An indication of when you would like to set up the project – a month’s warning will be fine!

We will get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks.

Informative websites about plants with useful teaching ideas:

Easy Science for Kids

Aquatic Plants and Kids

Wild About Plants