Once your taps and plants are suitably wrapped up warmly, it’s time to make sure ponds and bird baths are prevented from freezing too. Animals need our help to keep their sources of water accessible and there are some simple ways in which you can help prevents ponds and bird baths from freezing over. One idea is to float a suitably sized football on the surface of the water—this should keep the water around the ball moving, meaning that it’s less likely to freeze.
During really cold snaps, it’s unlikely this will prevent all of the water remaining ice-free, so I would recommend placing two or three footballs (or plastic containers) in the water, depending on the size of your pond. Ideally, one of these should be situated near the edge of the water so that birds can easily access the water’s surface. A pond aerator will have a similar affect as this, but they can be costly.
Finally, if despite your best efforts, freezing does occur, then make sure to thaw the ice as often as possible. To do this, use a hot kettle to melt the ice, as smashing it can harm pond inhabitants. For bird baths, leave a tennis ball floating on the surface, which will leave a natural space if the ice covers the rest.