Ponds are important for present and future biodiversity, supporting a vast array of freshwater plants and animals. These complex wetland habitats are home to a third of our native plants and over 1,200 species of invertebrates such as dragonflies, may flies, pond skaters, bugs and snails.
The expansion of towns and industrial areas, intensive agriculture and piped water for cattle has resulted in many ponds becoming redundant, and the decline of pondlife including rare, vulnerable and endangered species.
In Wrexham County Borough 500 ponds have been completely lost over the last 30 years, but there are still over 2000 ponds, covering a total area of one square kilometre. These ponds are concentrated in the eastern lowlands of the county.
This high density of ponds is an important feature of our landscape and a valuable biological resource. Amphibians will move from one pond to another if there are at least 4 ponds per square km. In the south-east of the County Borough there is an exceptionally large number of ponds. More than 200 ponds are of high conservation value, since they support declining species such as great crested newt, water vole, cowbane and frogbit.
As a pond develops its vegetation increases, reducing the surface area of open water, silt builds up and eventually it will become dry or wooded. All stages in a pond's development are important, as they support different communities of plants and animals, but amphibians need open water in order to lay their eggs. Almost 50% of the county's ponds are shaded by trees or have become wooded. This will increase and ponds will be lost unless they are managed or restored.
Planning permission is needed to import waste materials to fill in a pond and it may also be required to create one. For details contact: Wrexham County Borough Council, Planning Department on 01978 292019.
Several species, including great crested newt and water vole, are protected under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act and E.C. Habitats and Species Directive 1992. It is illegal to damage these species and their habitats. For details contact: Countryside Council for Wales on Tel: 01352 706600.
Consent from the Environment Agency is required for activities relating to water management, pollution and fish stocking, while a waste licence is needed for tipping. Advice is available from: Environment Agency on Tel: 01248 670770.
For further information about ponds or grants for their renovation,
Planning Environment, Planning Department, Lambpit Street, Wrexham, LL11 1WL.
Tel: 01978 292019
Fax: 01978 292502.