Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2010 (NE226)
ELS10_3_2_EE7
EE7    Buffering in-field ponds in improved permanent grassland
EE8    Buffering in-field ponds in arable land
400 points per ha
400 points per ha

To maintain their value to wildlife, the water quality of ponds needs to be protected. In areas of improved grassland management and on arable land, the creation of unfertilised grass buffers around in-field ponds will help to protect them from nutrient leaching and run-off and will provide additional habitat for pond wildlife. Buffers will be less effective where field drains discharge directly into the pond. The buffer areas may be designed to link two nearby ponds or to link ponds to copses or other boundary features.

These options are only available on grassland that is currently receiving over 50 kg/N per ha (EE7), or on arable land (EE8).


Figure 7 - Buffering in-field ponds.

For these options, you must comply with the following:

  • Buffer areas should be no more than 0.5 ha, although areas can be linked where there are several ponds in a field.
  • Buffer areas must extend at least 10 m between the pond edge and the intensively managed part of the field within which it lies.
  • Buffer areas must extend at least 10 m between the pond edge and the intensively managed part of the field within which it lies.
  • After establishment, cut no more than once every 5 years to allow the development of tussocky grass and low scrub. Do not cut between 1 March and 31 August. Do not allow scrub to develop on archaeological features.
  • You may allow some scrub to develop, but this must be around less than half of the pond margin.
  • Do not apply any fertilisers or manures.
  • Only apply herbicides to spot-treat or weed-wipe for the control of injurious weeds (ie creeping and spear thistles, curled and broad-leaved docks or common ragwort) or invasive non-native species (eg Himalayan balsam, rhododendron or Japanese knotweed).
  • Where the field is grazed, limit livestock access so that less than half of the pond edge is poached.
  • Do not use buffer areas for regular vehicular access, turning or storage. There should be no tracks, compacted areas or poaching.
ADLib logo Content provided by the Agricultural Document Library
© University of Hertfordshire, 2011