PondNet: Protecting ponds with the Freshwater Habitats Trust

Freshwater Habitats Trust

This year the Freshwater Habitats Trust (previously Pond Conservation) are rolling out their new national pond monitoring programme to North Merseyside. Merseyside BioBank has been asked to help deliver the project on the ground by putting out a call to local naturalists and volunteers, that means you!

"There are opportunities for anyone and everyone to get involved in PondNet. Following extensive trials and feedback from volunteers, we have developed surveys to match different levels of skill and to match the different interests of our volunteers." – FHT website

There are several levels of involvement in PondNet.

1.    Focal pond: These are set sites where surveys will be repeated year on year. There is 1 site in Sefton, North Merseyside and volunteers have already been found for eDNA surveys of Great Crested Newt. We still need people to record Aquatic plants, Aquatic invertebrates and Dragonflies. If you think you might be up for the challenge then let us know or contact Anne Heathcote (our Regional coordinator) directly (aheathcote@freshwaterhabitats.org.uk).

2.    Species surveys: Each year there will be selected pond species which the FHT would like people to find and record. For this year records of two species have been selected for North Merseyside. These include the Pond Mud Snail (Omphiscola glabra) and Tubular Water-dropwort (Oenanthe fistulosa). A small number of old records have been identified by FHT for re-visiting, but they are also very keen for people to go out, find new sites and make new records. If you would like to, by all means go out and search for these species! If you'd like to be more involved let us know and we'll keep a list of potential surveyors for when training or more resources become available.

3.    The wider Net: The third aspect of the PondNet project is about the wider conservation and monitoring of ponds. What we are asking people to do is choose a pond or a 1km square full of ponds and carry out similar surveys as those on the focal pond. Including a survey for Amphibians, Dragonflies, Aquatic plants and other aquatic invertebrates (to family). We are coordinating a large portion of this work locally in partnership with the Biodiverse Society project.

We will help to support volunteers in training and recording and your pond will be listed on the Freshwater Habitats Trust project website. You should also receive a nice welcome pack with all the instruction you need!

If you'd like to be involved in this part of the project as an individual or through the Biodiverse Society project then please contact Ben (ben.deed@merseysidebiobank.org.uk) or Joanne (jmoore@lancswt.org.uk).

If you'd like to know more about the project then contact us or Anne or check out the projects website http://www.freshwaterhabitats.org.uk/projects/pondnet/survey-options/