As our busy pond survey season draws to a close there is finally time to catch breath and reflect on the great gains our pond restoration works are making for freshwater ecology throughout the East. We are approaching 400 ponds and counting!
While it is undoubtedly a joy to spend the early summer months dipping in and photographing newly restored and created ponds, the real pay off comes from seeing nature recovering before our very eyes and knowing, through the science created by UCL and others, that these benefits extend far beyond the pond in question and into the surrounding farm landscape.
Some of the restored ponds we visit could hardly be called ponds before we restored them, so choked were they by scrub and leaf litter, a waterless terrestrial drowning, leaving amphibians, aquatic invertebrates and botany high and dry.
Coppicing the scrub and scraping out the silt is like giving pondy CPR - it literally breathes life back into them. Revisited a year on and these forgotten damp holes are buzzing with invertebrates and blooming with plants germinated from lost seedbanks - in the ponds pictured here we saw water crowfoot, water starwort, water plantain, water hemlock, water stoneworts, water buttercup and water violet - the list goes on!
HUGE thanks from the pond team at FWAG East to all of the landowners and contractors who have given of their time and space to make wonderful, watery things happen on their land! It is truly a privilege to help you bring biodiversity back and cherish your ponds once again. Pour yourselves a well deserved cuppa and sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labours...