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Friday, February 05, 2010

The state of our ponds

It is thought that England, Wales and Scotland have around half a million public ponds. A study by Pond Conservation has found that 8 out of 10 are in a "terrible state".

As a result of pollution from farmland, roads and villages most ponds contain on average only one-third of the plant species that they would expect in good quality ponds.

Research on dragonflies, water beetles, mayflies, water snails and other small animals shows their low numbers "closely track the plants" according to Jeremy Biggs, Pond Conservation's policy and research director.

It is shocking that ponds are in such a terrible state. Practically unnoticed, wildlife-rich, clean and unpolluted ponds have become a rarity in the countryside.

Although ponds are small in size, the large number of ponds and the varied habitat means they are thought to be home to more threatened freshwater species in the UK than rivers or lakes combined, and a greater variety of species than a typical patch of countryside.

Even small ponds can be a haven for wildlife. When at the courts garden a tiny pond had damselflies and newts!!

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