Case Studies

UK: People, Ponds and Water Project

The People, Ponds and Water project run by Freshwater Habitats Trust, is a national partnership working with volunteers across England and Wales to monitor, manage and protect freshwater wildlife.

The ethos is that the best way to protect freshwater habitats is to increase people’s enjoyment, knowledge and experience of them.

The project is comprised of three overlapping initiatives:

PondNet: producing up-to-date information on the status and change of pond habitats and priority species, trialling new survey techniques which have opened up species recording to new audiences.

Clean Water for Wildlife: generating the first ever data on the extent of nutrient pollution in all waterbody types across England and Wales.

Flagship Ponds: working with conservation groups, national and local experts, and passionate volunteers to protect and manage some of the most important pond sites in England and Wales.

In the first three years, People, Ponds and Water raised the profile of the importance of ponds for freshwater wildlife and put in place monitoring and conservation strategies which will help to maintain the best ponds sites for future generations.

More information about the project, including the Summary Report of the first three years, and ongoing activity, is available on the Freshwater Habitats Trust website.

UK: Countryside Survey results.

The first survey of the state of a country’s ponds, and a good example of (i) how a pond survey can be conducted, and (ii) how it brings useful information!

Information on the state of the Great Britain’s ponds is presented in a report published by the Countryside Survey partnership. [pdf 4.0 Mo]

The report show some positive signals for conservation of biodiversity, such as increase in the number of ponds. However, the reports also show some negative signals; for example, ponds in England and Wales are widely degraded and pond quality has declined over the past decade.

Key findings described in the Ponds report include:

  • In 2007, the number of ponds in Great Britain was estimated to be 478,000.
  • The 2007 survey provided evidence that as measured by their composition of plants, ponds in England and Wales were widely degraded, with around 80% of ponds being of Poor or Very Poor quality.
  • There was a high turnover of ponds between 1998 and 2007, with an estimated 18,000 ponds lost and 70,600 new ponds created. New ponds were typically of better quality and supported more plant species than older ponds

Other examples of success stories will soon be presented here.  If you have any please contact the EPCN secretary.