Ponds, Pools and Lochans

5. Pond creation

This section provides a summary of new information on the design and creation of ponds. More detailed information on all aspects of pond creation is given in The Pond Book (Williams et al., 1999).

5.1 Introduction

The value of new ponds and wetlands in biodiversity conservation

Pond creation is a natural and effective method of managing ponds in the landscape. It is particularly valuable because it mimics the age-old processes of natural pond formation, creating new sites which can eventually pass through a range of successional stages, all of which will be exploited by freshwater life. New ponds which are well-located and designed can rapidly become of considerable value for nature conservation. For example, a new pond complex at Pinkhill Meadow, Oxfordshire, supported approximately 20% of all the wetland plant and aquatic macroinvertebrate species found in Britain, only six years after its creation (Biggs et al. 1995, 1997). All of these species established by natural colonisation alone.

Different pond designs for different purposes

Ponds are created for many reasons: for wildlife conservation, for sporting activities such as fishing and shooting, and increasingly for a range of economic purposes such as irrigation and storage of urban runoff.

The sections below focus mainly on principles of pond design for nature conservation. However, appropriate designs for other functions are also outlined, together with information about how wildlife designs can still be incorporated into ponds where conservation is not the main objective. Special mention is made of the design of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS), (see Section 7), since these features are likely to become increasingly common in the next 5 to 10 years.

Table 16. Design of ponds: where to find information in this guide
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