Ponds, Pools and Lochans

Ponds, Pools and Lochans

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Chairman's Foreward
Executive Summary
1. Introduction
1.1 Using the handbook
1.2 SEPAs role in pond protection
2. General information about ponds
2.1 Definitions
2.2 The number of small waterbodies in Scotland
2.3 Biological importance of ponds
2.4 Historical and archaeological value of ponds
2.5 Amenity value of ponds
2.6 Threats to ponds
2.7 Legislation and policy initiatives relating to ponds
2.8 Sources of assistance and funding
3. Assessing pond ecological quality
3.1 Is it necessary to survey?
3.2 Conservation assessment methods using wetland plants and aquatic macroinvertebrates
3.3 Using the assessment criteria given in Table 8
3.4 Collecting plant or invertebrate data to assess pond conservation value
3.5 Assessing species richness (the number of species), occurrence of uncommon species and calculating Species Rarity Indices
3.6 Assessment of the conservation value of ponds using other groups of animals
3.7 Future method developments - PSYM
3.8 Assessing the archaeological and historical value of ponds
3.9 Assessing amenity value
3.10 Sources of biological data on ponds, pools and lochans in Scotland
4. Management of ponds
4.1  Introduction
4.2 Myths about ponds
4.3 Planning pond management
4.4 Pond management principles
4.5 Controlling pollution
4.6 Physical habitat management
  4.7 The time and costs of pond management
5. Pond creation
5.1 Introduction
5.2 The three essentials features of high quality wildlife ponds
5.3 Water sources for new ponds
5.4 Wetland locations for new ponds
5.5 Good pond design
5.6 Planning and undertaking pond creation
5.7 Lining vs natural ponds
5.8 Pond colonisation: is it necessary to plant up ponds?
5.9 Planning issues
5.10 Health and safety
5.11 Designs for recreation
6. Safety
6.1 Introduction
6.2 The Drowning Chain
7. Maximising the ecological value of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS)
7.1 New data about the wildlife value of SUDS schemes
7.2 Ecological design principles to maximise the nature conservation value of constructed retention ponds and wetlands
7.3 Two principles for working with contaminated surface water runoff
7.4  Adding value with two-phase designs
7.5 Planting-up SUDS ponds
7.6 Amenity benefits of ponds (including SUDS schemes)
7.7 Designing safe SUDS ponds


Appendix 1.

Specialist advisors

Appendix 2. Appropriate plants for adding to new ponds
1 The number of waterbodies in Scotland in 1990
2 Macroinvertebrate biodiversity in ponds and rivers in Britain
3 Historical and cultural uses of ponds identified by the Pond Conservation Group Table 4. Amenity use of ponds and pools in lowland England, Wales and Scotland
4 Amenity use of ponds and pools in lowland England, Wales and Scotland
Biodiversity Action Plan species associated with ponds in Scotland
6 Policies which should be included in Structure Plans and Local Plans which are likely to be of particular importancefor pond and small waterbody conservation
7 Specimen planning policies for pond conservation
8 Provisional categories for assessing pond conservation value based on wetland plant and macroinvertebrate assemblages
9 Invertebrate species rarity terms and scores
10 Wetland plant species rarity terms and scores
11 Assessment of pond conservation value based on amphibian population size
12 Methods for detailed investigation of the historical value of ponds
13 Provisional criteria for assessing the historical importance of ponds
14 Management of ponds: where to find information in this guide
15 The effect of pollutants on ponds
16 Design of ponds: where to find information in this guide
17 Numbers of accidental deaths in different environments in the UK
18 Drownings in the UK in 1998 by location
19 Safety near water - based on the RoSPA water safety code
1 Planning and undertaking pond management
2 Key principles of pond management
3 Managing the nature conservation interest of different types of ponds
4 Key principles for pond creation
5 Designing ponds for fishing
6 Designing ponds for wildfowling
7 Initial steps in pond design and creation
8 The main steps in pond construction
9 Ponds and the law
10 Twenty ways to maximise the nature conservation value of SUDS ponds


1 The geological record shows that ponds and pools were a natural feature of the landscape long before human activity began to shape the surface of the earth
2 The creation of new ponds, like this pond in the Auchenrodden Forest near Lockerbie, simulates the natural processes of pond creation
3 There are at least 150,000 ponds and pools in Scotland, about half of the total in the British countryside
4 Shortwood Common Pond (Surrey) is one of the richest ponds so far surveyed in Britain by Pond Action
5 The natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) is Britains most endangered amphibian
6 Many damselfly species are found in semi-permanent and temporary ponds, including acid waters, throughout Scotland
7 Man-made and natural pools are an important component of the breeding habitat of the red-necked phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus)
8 Curling ponds are a distinctive feature of the Scottish landscape
9 The great crested newt is a protected species in Britain; it is threatened by pond loss, fish stocking, mis-management of ponds (including over-zealous vegetation removal) and fragmentation of terrestrial habitat
10 An unnamed lochan on Rannoch Moor National Nature Reserve, one of the National Pond Survey sites in Scotland
11 Pillwort (Pilularia globulifera), an inconspicuous and declining fern found in the margins of ponds, pools and lochs
12 To assess the conservation value of ponds, follow the techniques of the National Pond Survey
13 A standard NPS plant survey will take a skilled botanist 1 to 2 hrs on a medium sized pond; large sites may take up to a day to survey
14 The horny orb mussel (Sphaerium corneum) occurs in ponds, lochs and rivers
15 Frogs are widespread in Scotland: an exceptional population is one where more than 500 spawn clumps can be counted
16 The Scottish Natural Heritage botanical survey of Scottish freshwaters lochs includes plant survey data from many small waterbodies between 1 - 2 ha
17 The drawdown zone - where water fluctuates between winter and summer - is one of the richest areas of any pond
If you cannot do a detailed survey of a pond before management, maintain examples of all habitat types
19 Encourage the development of rich plant mosaics
20 In intensive agricultural or urban areas make sure that each pond has a buffer zone around it
21 Surrounding land supplies part of the water supply for most ponds
22 All tall marginal plants have specific pond animal species associated with them
23 The drawdown zone is one of the most important areas of the pond
24 The edge and shallow water area of a pond is one of the richest parts
25 There is no ideal amount of vegetation for every pond. In many ponds a good rule of thumb would be the more the better
26 Silt traps are on-stream basins which slow down the water flow, allowing silt to be deposited
27 Well-vegetated ponds are usually rich in plant species; reducing plant cover may eliminate species from the pond
28 Irresponsible releases of non-native fishes to ponds, pools and lochans in Scotland has caused considerable damage to native fauna and flora
29 Man-made and natural pool in the uplands usually require nothing more than protection from pollution, drainage and fish stocking
30 Limited hand removal of emergent plants can often improve the visual amenity of ponds
31 Ponds can be fed by a variety of water sources including surface water, groundwater and ditch or stream inflows
32 Baroness Hilton, Katherine Bradshaw, Joanna Drewitt and Jeremy Biggs inspect pond animals at Pinkhill Meadow Experimental Wetland site (Oxfordshire)
33 Create new ponds in areas where they are protected from water pollution
34 If possible locate new ponds in areas near to other wetland areas
35 When designing ponds focus on creating pond complexes rather than a single pond
36 For individual ponds, create extensive undulating margins and complexes of sub-basin
37 Low muddy islands can be valuable habitats
38 It is sometimes thought that pond colonisation is a slow process which needs speeding-up. In fact, pond colonisation is rapid
39 Rules for planting up ponds: dont buy plants from garden centres; instead collect plants locally (making sure not to contravene the Wildlife & Countryside Act, 1981)
40 Fishponds can provide a valuable source of food for otters
41 Where possible in SUDS schemes create habitat complexes


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