Ponds, Pools and Lochans


Who is this guide for?
This guide is aimed at:
  • Statutory environmental protection agencies and NGOs
  • Farmers and landowners
  • Local authority planners and engineers
  • Developers, environmental consultants and landscape architects
  • Local action groups and members of the public may also find this guide useful.


How to use this guide for?
This guide summarises information available about pond management, creation and protection.
  • General information about ponds is given in Section 2.
  • Pond assessment is described in Section 3.
  • Pond management is described in Section 4.
  • Pond creation is described in Section 5.
  • Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) pond design is described in Section 7.
  • The key aspects of pond management and design are described in summary boxes in each chapter.
  • Technical terms are explained in the Glossary.

1.1 Using the Handbook

This handbook provides guidance on good practice in the protection, management and creation of ponds and pool in Scotland. The guide covers both man-made and natural waterbodies, including upland lochans and moorland pools. The guide also provides advice on incorporating ecological design principles into Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems.

The main aim of the handbook is to provide a summary of new information about the conservation and management of small water bodies, and to point the way towards additional sources of technical advice and information. The guide is not a practical management handbook; further information about pond management and design is available in The Pond Book (Williams et al., 1999).

The guide includes information on:

  • the ecological management of man-made and natural small water bodies.
  • protecting the historical and archaeological interest of small water bodies.
  • the amenity use of ponds and pools, and the integration of this with nature conservation management.
  • the design of new ponds for nature conservation.
  • techniques for maximising the biodiversity value of ponds and wetlands that are installed in sustainable urban drainage systems.

The handbook does not cover wet grasslands, peatlands or reed beds for which management guides are already available1. However, advice is included about small waterbodies associated with more extensive semi-natural habitats, such as upland pools and lochans.

1Information on the management of wet grasslands, peatlands, bogs and reed beds is available in Benstead et al. (1997), Rowell (1988), Brooks and Stoneman (1997) and Hawke and Jos (1996), respectively. Specific information on the management of invertebrates in all of these habitats is available in Kirby (1995).

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