Ponds, Pools and Lochans

3. Assessing pond ecological quality

3.1 Is it necessary to survey?

It is always helpful to have good ecological and historical information about a pond before management decisions are made - for many ponds it will be essential if management is to be effective and damage to the pond avoided.

Circumstances where it is particularly important to base management decisions on the results of an ecological survey are:

  1. Ponds which are located in areas designated for their conservation interest or with extensive areas of seminatural habitat (e.g. SSSIs, unimproved grasslands, ancient woodlands, moorland). These ponds are likely to be of high value (supporting uncommon or protected species) - and are easily damaged.
  2. Ponds where it is suspected that protected or Biodiversity Action Plan species may occur.
  3. Ponds where extensive invasive management or destruction is considered. This includes deepening of temporary ponds, or ponds where there is going to be clearance of 25% or more of the sediment or vegetation.

In addition, ecological information is virtually essential where ponds are mainly being managed for nature conservation purposes - without good data about which species are already using the pond it is not really possible to know whether management will be of benefit or cause irrevocable damage.

Archaeological surveys are particularly recommended where the pond is known to be older than 100 years or where the pond is known not to have been dredged for more than 100 years and may, therefore, contain biological or historical remains in its sediments.

Ponds_fig11.jpg (19398 bytes)

Figure 11. Pillwort (Pilularia globulifera), an inconspicuous and declining fern found in the margins of ponds, pools and lochs. This BAP species can easily be overlooked without careful survey work. Pond Action
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