This habitat includes a wide range of small water bodies between 1m2 and 2 ha in area, covering a wide range of nutrient levels, from eutrophic to dystrophic, and encompassing both permanent and seasonal water bodies. The plant and animal life associated with ponds is very rich; for example, at least 40 UK BAP priority species throughout the UK are found in ponds. Ponds are vulnerable to infilling, drainage, pollution, nutrient enrichment and inappropriate management. In past years there have been substantial losses of lowland rural ponds in England. However, the results of the most recent Countryside Survey showed a 6% net increase in lowland ponds between 1990 and 19981.
Ponds are found throughout the North East Region and are thought to occur within the boundaries of each local planning authority. They are a particular feature of the Northumbria Coal Measures Natural Area, where ponds formed through mining subsidence are an important habitat for amphibians such as common frog, waterfowl and aquatic plants, in an area where many other wetlands have been lost.
A proposal is currently before the UK Biodiversity Action Plan Steering Group to adopt ponds of high ecological value as a priority habitat under the UK BAP.
For more information about ponds visit the Pond Conservation website
Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (2000) Accounting for nature: assessing habitats in the UK Countryside - an overview. DETR, London.