Suffolk has around 22,000 ponds in its heavily farmed landscape, around 70% of these have been shown to be neglected and undermanaged, a situation that has to change if we are to secure nature's recovery in Suffolk.
Management of ponds used to form an integral part of the farming year, when they were required for livestock, water, or other industrial uses. In the modern, highly-intensive farmed landscape, ponds are under pressure from neglect, intensive farming practices and land reclamation.
Understanding and promoting the importance of ponds at the landscape-scale is essential to ensure that Suffolk is contributing to the efforts of reversing the current decline of biodiversity worldwide.
Ponds in Suffolk support wildlife of importance at the European scale including great crested newt, turtle dove, rare stoneworts and host of other species, as well as providing a range of resources and habitat for our more common species.
Important for birds, bats, invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, plants, algae and many others, clean water ponds cannot be underestimated for their wildlife value.
- To promote the restoration and creation of clean water ponds in the Suffolk landscape, especially on farmland
- To create and maintain a network map of ponds to inform a Nature Recovery Network for Suffolk
- To collaborate and coordinate the approach of the partner organisations to facilitate greater conservation outcomes for pond wildlife at scale
- To encourage the uptake of agri-environment scheme options for pond management
- To train those managing ponds to achieve the best wildlife outcomes and recommend trained practitioners – in association with Norfolk Ponds Project
- To facilitate landscape-scale pond research
- To develop understanding of the importance of ponds for wildlife to land managers and others
- To promote the heritage of ponds in the Suffolk landscape
- To involve local communities in pond monitoring and conservation action
- See our aims in full
The gallery below shows a selection of our work on farmland pond restoration and creation in Suffolk. Degraded, shaded and dry ponds are brought back to life through targeted vegetation removal and de-silting. New ponds are dug where they can provide links to other ponds and terrestrial habitats and create strong habitat networks.
If you would like to work with the Suffolk Ponds Group to get the best from your farmland ponds please fill in the form below or call us on 01473 890089.
For garden pond enquiries please visit our Pond Advice pages.
Norfolk Ponds Project
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service
Suffolk Naturalists' Society
University College of London
Juliet Hawkins - Natural history of ponds
Edward Martin - Ponds in the historic landscape
Richard Symes - Farmer Representative