Ponds, Pools and Lochans

7.4 Adding value with two-phase designs

Pond creation is usually best undertaken as a two stage process and SUDS schemes are no exception. Thus, just as landscaping and tree-planting needs after-care to ensure successful establishment, the ecological value of pond systems can be considerably improved by a short follow-up phase. Such works can often double the value of SUDS sites for wildlife.

This short second phase, can be used to:

  • Undertake fine-tuning of the pond designs after a period of observing how the scheme behaves e.g. re-profiling margin areas, adding-in small topographic variation such as marginal pools.
  • Maximise the potential of new opportunities that have arisen during construction (e.g. use of excess runoff water or natural seepages to create new pools etc.).

At present, standard planning conditions indicate that new ponds in SUDS schemes should be completed as a one-off operation in the year following building completion. So, in small or short-term schemes, create the main SUDS works so as to be a fully functioning structure, but budget an extra 1% - 5% for the short aftercare programme in the following year. Larger schemes, such as development parks, are often completed over a number of years, so here a second phase can usually be incorporated within the overall development plan.

Such follow-up measures would typically involve one days work on site and utilise a small excavator moving around minor amounts of spoil. The necessity for dumper trucks or net production of spoil (which would need additional piling, profiling and seeding) should be avoided.

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