Million Ponds Project
The Million Ponds Project was established in February 2009, to protect ponds, streams and lakes and to reverse the decline in the number of ponds in England and Wales. The project is being co-ordinated by the Pond Conservation organisation who report that the last century the number of ponds in England and Wales has fallen by three quarters, from around 800,000 to only 250,000. In addition to this sharp numerical decline, Pond Conservation is concerned that 8 out of 10 countryside ponds are in poor or very poor condition and are under threat from pollution.
The Project has set ambitious targets, to ensure that there are a million ponds, albeit over a long timescale of 50 years. In the first phase it is aiming to for a target of supporting the creation of 5,000 new ponds by 2012, both in the countryside but also by encouraging gardeners to create natural water habitats. More than 50 threatened species rely on ponds for their survival and are a national priority under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and making clean new ponds is one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect freshwater wildlife.
You can help by creating a pond in your garden with clean water and shallow margins to provide homes for pond animals. On the website there are guidelines on building a wildlife friendly pond, which you leave it to become colonised by wildlife naturally. If you get the conditions right you should soon see dragonflies, pond skaters, damselflies, water beetles and backswimmers, as well as frogs and maybe newts and water snails.
You can download the guide, using this link:
When you have built your new wildlife pond you are asked to register the pond, providing your Ordance survey grid reference. In the first year of the scheme more than a thousand new ponds have been set up, but there is still a long way to go.
It is even possible to apply for funding to build a pond, although this is primarily for the construction of ponds in public areas. More details can be found on the website, with January 2011 the cut off point for grant submissions.
Do we have any pond experts in N21 who might be able to offer their advice to novice pond builders?
The Million Ponds Project was established in February 2009, to protect ponds, streams and lakes and to reverse the decline in the number of ponds in England and Wales.