Ponds, Pools and Lochans

3.9 Assessing amenity value

Methods for assessing the amenity value of ponds were developed for the DETR Lowland Pond Survey and are now included as standard in the National Pond Survey (Pond Action, 1998).

Amenity value was assessed in the DETR survey in terms of (i) the visibility of the pond from public rights of way (ii) evidence of amenity uses of the pond (fishing, shooting etc.).

The visibility of the ponds can be assessed in two ways:

  1. in terms of visibility from areas to which the public has access as rights of way or to which open access is available, assessed on a 1 to 5 scale from 1 = view obscured to 5 = pond clearly visible;
  2. the number of people likely to use rights of way, gauged in terms of their importance, with 1 = footpath to 5 = road.

Amenity use of ponds can be assessed from on-site evidence of the following leisure activities, which are simply recorded as occurring: fishing, shooting, ornamental fish keeping, keeping of wildfowl, pond dipping and other wildlife interests, boating, model boating and others. Assessing amenity use in this way provides a minimum estimate of use, since landowners are not directly questioned about the use to which ponds are put. However, it has the advantage of being much quicker than interviewing landowners.

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