27 new ponds created at RSPB Malltraeth Marsh
Last modified: 13 June 2012
27 vital new ponds have been created at RSPB Malltraeth Marsh on Anglesey to safeguard rare and threatened species, thanks to funding and support from the Million Ponds Project and Biffaward.
The grant of £16,500 from the Pond Digging Fund has enabled RSPB Cymru to dig 27 new clean water ponds. A staggering 80% of ponds in the countryside are in poor or very poor condition, so it is very important that new clean water ponds such as these are created, giving the hundreds of species that depend on ponds a fighting chance.
The new ponds at RSPB Malltraeth Marsh on Anglesey will mean that lapwing and pillwort – a very rare grass like fern - and many other plants and animals, will have a secure future.
Lapwing are currently on the red list of birds of conservation concern. There may only be as few as 500 breeding pairs left in Wales, with 2-3% of the Welsh population at Malltraeth.
Ian Hawkins RSPB Cymru site manager at Malltraeth said “We wanted to create ponds here for breeding lapwing for a long time, but didn’t know where to start. The Million Ponds Project has been very helpful, helping us to make the best possible ponds to benefit these birds, and finding the money to pay for it.”
Creating clean water ponds that will develop into rich wildlife hotspots is relatively straight forward, as long as you adhere to three key criteria: 1) ponds need a clean water source, free from fertilisers, pesticides, run-off from roads, leaky septic tanks or run-off from intensive agriculture; 2) ponds need to be left to colonise naturally, without the addition of plants and animals; 3) ponds need to be left to thrive without undue disturbance.
Million Ponds Project Officer, Anna Bransden, commented “This is an ideal spot to create wildlife ponds because the water coming off the surrounding grassland is clean and free from pollution. It means the delicate plants and animals that can’t survive in polluted ponds will be able to find a home here. We are thankful to Biffaward for providing the funds that have made this work possible.”
The Million Pond Project provides support and guidance to any landowner or manager in England or Wales who wants to create news ponds for wildlife through the advice line at firstname.lastname@example.org and 01865 483 249, and via the website at www.pondconservation.org.uk/millionponds where you can find the Pond Creation Toolkit, a key resource for anyone thinking of digging a wildlife pond, explaining everything from designing ponds to choosing the right digger, and details of the Pond Digging Fund.
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