Wetlands, Ponds and Streams
Incredible habitats for a spectacular array of wildlife, wetlands are of huge environmental significance. Unfortunately, an enormous number of ponds have been lost and many of those which remain are in poor condition. To make matters worse, few rivers and streams remain unaffected by human activity.
The construction of wetlands, ponds and scrapes for wildlife requires specialist skills. I have those skills together with an excellent understanding of what native flora and fauna require to become established and then to thrive.
I am the contractor of choice to Freshwater Habitats Trust and undertake projects on their behalf which include the construction of wildlife ponds, wetlands and wetland complexes to reduce diffuse pollution from entering our streams and rivers. I work alongside ecologists to plan wetlands projects in order to ensure that freshwater habitat creation and restoration will be beneficial to the environment.
Wetlands, ponds and streams are aesthetically pleasing features of the landscape which offer a raft of benefits for people and wildlife alike. But it is vital that these areas are correctly constructed and maintained.
I provide a competitively priced and professional service encompassing:
- Pond, scrape and wetland design
- Excavation & construction
- Vegetation establishment
- Vegetation control
- Weed control
- River & stream bank erosion control
- Bank stabilization
- Planning applications
- Grant application
I am happy to deal with the Environment Agency and local authority planning offices on your behalf. Grant funding may be available to offset a proportion of the planning and construction costs.
CREATE IMPORTANT HABITATS FOR NATIVE WILDLIFE!
The importance of ponds should never be underestimated. Aesthetically pleasing and surprisingly diverse, ponds differ greatly in size and are features of a wide variety of habitats. An amazing two thirds of all native freshwater species are supported by ponds including more than 100 UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority species. A clean and properly maintained pond is one of the most effective ways to support our native wildlife.
Pond Flora and Fauna
Ponds are particularly beneficial for invertebrates including the large red damselfly, common darter and broad-bodied chaser dragonflies together with the protected lesser silver water beetle. Pond flora varies enormously and according to the depth of the water. Deep water can be home to spiked water-milfoil, water-starwort and yellow water-lily while shallow water hosts soft rush, creeping bent, greater pond sedge and yellow iris.
Amphibians, including the protected great crested newt, prosper in ponds which may also provide a valuable habitat for water voles, grass snakes and bats. Water birds such as ducks, swans and moorhens rely on ponds for both feeding and nesting. Wading birds search in the margins for invertebrates to eat. Ponds also provide crucial corridors between disparate habitats enabling different species to move freely across the countryside.
Why are ponds threatened?
Research shows that a frightening 80% of wildlife ponds in this country are in poor condition and we have lost half a million ponds over the last hundred years. The loss of the ponds and the poor condition of those which remain has had a devastating effect on wildlife. Ponds have been lost to urbanisation, agricultural practices including drainage and in-filling and also poor management.
Could your land play an important role in restoring these crucial features to our landscape? I would love to be involved in creating and maintaining an attractive and environmentally beneficial pond for you to enjoy and one which will enable wildlife to prosper.
Rivers and Streams
Our watercourses provide food and shelter for wildlife including invertebrates, birds, small mammals and aquatic species. Lowland rivers and streams are nutrient rich and can support an exceptional variety of species because diversity increases as the flow of the water slows. These lowland watercourses are home to a wide variety of fauna and course fish including chub, dace and roach. The fish attract otters, herons and other predatory species. The most stable habitats also host white-clawed crayfish and even river mussel. Wet meadows along the river banks are important habitats for wading birds and wild flowers.
Rivers and streams provide water supplies and recreational opportunities for people and are often crucial flood defences. Sadly, few have been immune to the negative effects of human intervention. Canalisation and the removal of trees has resulted in bank erosion. Pollution has devastated wildlife and construction projects have changed water flows. The introduction of invasive plant species and animals has also impacted our rivers and streams.
Agricultural practices and urbanisation have seriously impacted flood plains. During floods, water and sediment move to the flood plains and deliver nutrients which are vital for the ecosystem in these areas. This process also purifies the rivers’ water. In addition, the plains help to regulate water volumes and provide the rivers with carbon via organic matter which is vital for sustaining plants, animals and microorganisms.
Rivers and streams are dynamic and will respond to any changes in water flow, sediment supply and channel form by altering their size and shape. These changes may extend far downstream from where they originate. This process leads to habitat loss and, unfortunately, new channel profiles have often been retained. It is vital that we work with nature and restore channel features and the biodiversity which has been lost. Otherwise both nature and our communities will suffer.