Ponds

Habitat Description

Ponds are defined as small water bodies between 1m square and 2 ha that hold water for more than four months in a year.

  Ponds can be formed naturally in depressions created by glacial activity, natural subsidence or river activity. They can also be man-made, in gardens and village greens, or be created by landowners for fishing, shooting, livestock watering, aesthetic or amenity purposes. In Northamptonshire (in 2002) 123 county wildlife sites were listed that included at least one pond on site.

Current UK Status and Trends

Declining

Estimated Current Northants Resource

1133 ha of open water in Northamptonshire is included within the definition of a pond, 392 ha of which is within county wildlife sites.

Progress Towards BAP Targets 2002-2007

Awaiting updates

Main Issues and Threats

  • Lack of management leading to gradual loss of open water through siltation, build up of dead plant material and expansion of marginal vegetation.
  • Infilling of farm ponds that no longer have a specific function.
  • Nutrient enrichment (eutrophication) resulting from agricultural runoff and leaching.
  • Reduction in water quality and an increase in the incidence of pollution, both point source and diffuse.
  • Over zealous management can result in the loss of fringe habitats and marginal zones.
  • The release of non-native garden plant species and unnatural fish populations can seriously affect indigenous flora and fauna.

General Strategies

  • Improve the ecological value of ponds by promoting conservation for nature conservation.
  • Re-introduction of management of existing ponds and creation of new ponds, funded primarily through the Countryside Stewardship Scheme (Advice can be provided by The Wildlife Trust, RNRP or FWAG).
  • Create a full range of successional stages at every pond, from open water, through marginal zones, to scrub, woodland or grassland.
  • Maintain water quality by controlling agricultural inputs and point source pollution.
  • The value of temporary pools should be recognised and these protected from infilling or excavation.

Lead Partner

The Environment Agency

Associated National Priority Species

  • Common toad
  • Grass snake
  • Great crested newt
  • Water vole see species action plan.

Specific Management Required for Associated Species

Species

Northamptonshire Status

Management Prescriptions

Key Sites

Great crested newt

Widespread

Reduce heavy shading around southern margins of ponds, create new ponds with habitat connections to other ponds, create buffer zones around ponds, restrict grazing around part of the pond margin, prevent stocking of breeding ponds with fish or large numbers of ducks or geese.

Widespread

Targets

Target Code

Target Type

Target Description

Target Units

Northants Baseline Resource

Target

By

Unit Cost £

Total Cost £

NOR_PND_T1

Maintain Extent

Maintain the current extent of at least LWS-standard ponds.

Ha/Number

59/76

No Net Loss

2015

Unknown

 

NOR_PND_T2

Achieving Condition

Achieve LWS-standard of 50 ponds.

Number

76

126

2015

Unknown

 

NOR_PND_T3

Expansion

Create 25 LWS standard ponds.

Number

0

25

2015

Unknown

 

Actions

Action Code

Action Description

Lead Partner

Support Partner(s)

Related Target

NOR_PND_HS_A1

Re-introduction of management of existing ponds through appropriate Environmental Stewardship (ES) prescriptions for target habitats/species.

Natural England

FWAG, RNRP, The Wildlife Trust

NOR_PND_T1 & T2

NOR_PND_HC_A2

Restore x ponds through ES to at least LWS standard and to reflect the character of existing ponds within the locality.

The Wildlife Trust

FWAG, RNRP, Natural England

NOR_PND_T2

NOR_PND_HC_A3

Through section 106 agreements/new developments ensure that ponds of LWS standard are created, restored or enhanced wherever appropriate.

Developers, Local Authorities, WNDC, NNDC

The Wildlife Trust, Natural England

NOR_PND_T2 & T3

NOR_PND_HC_A4

Encourage the creation of new ponds through the use of ES and other funding streams. A full range of successional stages should be created at every pond, from open water, through marginal zones, to scrub, woodland or grassland.

RNRP / FWAG

Natural England, The Wildlife Trust

NOR_PND_T3