There is a lot of interest in Parish Ponds and several of our meetings are based on such places. This section covers some of the back ground on Ponds, Amphibians, Reptiles etc

Ponds provide key habitat for a wide range of species that are use them or live close by them. Their role in farming and industry has vanished wiPond habitatth the inevitable result that they are frequently not maintained or are simply used as dumps. There are very few records of ponds in Cornwall, so one of the major tasks within this Parish-Wildlife Project is to complete an inventory of ponds and assess their current status.

Surveys can be conducted at different levels, depending on the knowledge of the recorder. Quite a lot of information can be obtained by recording obvious physical measurements (size, depth, shading etc), connectivity of the pond to the landscape, and assessing numbers of different species, without having to identify individual species. It is assumed that most of the surveys will be of this nature. We will also provide species check lists, identification aids for elected species and training, for those that want to do a more intense survey.

Pond Project Tasks    Recording Village Ponds.

A - log the position of ponds in the parishes
B  - assess the status of each pond
C  - identify clusters of ponds *
D  - provide guidance to improve the status of local ponds     

We will need to focus on village and farmland ponds. Although there are many more garden ponds, access to wildlife, size and presence of fish and possibly introduced alien plants, limit the role that they can play in the wider scene.

* The position of the pond in the habitat is a prime factor for pond biodiversity. Clusters of ponds are important, as they provide an opportunity for species migration in times of stress.

The Environmental Record Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, ERCCIS, have a  survey form available and are encouraging the assessment of ponds at the parish level. Our survey area is 150 sq miles  and has 18 parishes. We want to encourage as many parishes as possible to complete their Pond Surveys. The approaches to adopt are summarised below.

Maps     The  OS Explorer maps at 1:25 000 scale are sufficiently detailed to pick out ponds of 100m diameter or more. Smaller and linear ponds do not show up well at this scale. The Record Centre at CWT may be able to supply grid references of established ponds for us to check out. 

Regardless of what maps can tell us, there are going to be many recent ponds that are not any any of the maps. The most thorough way to find these is to mark landowner boundaries on the 1:20 000 maps that are already available from CWT and approach the landowners individually.  It is possible that some landowners may not feel obliged to disclose any information and this will have to be respected.  We are also interested in historic data. Have some ponds vanished in living memory? What was their original purpose? Parish newsletters or notice boards are a good means of communication to find out this kind of information.

Visits     All identified ponds need to be visited, regardless of size assuming that permission is obtained. For the Pond Inventory, we only need to confirm the size, assess the overall status and get a general feel for its importance in the landscape

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