Ponds form small water bodies that can be permanently or seasonally (temporarily) filled with water. They are very widespread, occurring in both rural and urban settings.


Freshwater habitatsHigh-quality examples are highly localised, especially in the lowlands. Areas important for high quality ponds include, for example:

  • the Cheshire Plain, the New Forest, and the Lizard Peninsular
  • the pingos of East Anglia
  • the mid-Wales mawn pools and the NE Wales pond landscape
  • the forest and moorland pools of Speyside
  • ponds and pools associated with coastal dune slacks
  • the machair pools in the Western Isles


Ponds support an array of freshwater life:Dragonfly

  • plant species range from those in deeper water, to those in marginal areas and the draw-down zone
  • ponds are particularly important for aquatic invertebrates, including damselflies, dragonflies, beetles, caddisflies, snails, water boatman and water scorpions
  • amphibious newts, frogs and toads use them for breeding
  • grass snakes, water voles and certain bat species use them as feeding areas
  • waterbirds, such as moorhen, teal, redshank and snipe, use ponds for feeding, nesting and/or refuge