Are you interested?
Are you part of a group that looks after a pond, a school or an interested local individual. Do you have time for a meeting three or four times a year and enjoy visiting a pond, or would like to start doing so?
So what is a Pond Warden?
A pond warden is a volunteer who is interested in helping to look after ponds in their own local area. The activities a pond warden can get involved in are varied, such as surveying and monitoring, pond management and involving local people.
Survey and monitoring
Finding out what is in the pond, what has been lost, what is colonising and what is visiting the pond is essential knowledge for pond management. Records such as photographs, species lists or other written records are particularly valuable. Standardized assessments of biological quality are performed through PSYM surveys.
Each pond will require a unique set of tasks to protect or enhance its value for wildlife. Some ponds already have good management plans that take account of the sites value, but many others may require new or revised plans. DCPWA can advise on these aspects, and has access to specialists in this field.Click here to see Pond Management Guidance notes.
Involvement of local people
Open events such as the "Day of Pondamania", pond dipping, nature walks or even a morning's litter clearing can be a good way of getting more people to take an interest in their local ponds.
Why are Pond Wardens needed?
Ponds and lakes are important places for wildlife in Derby. The Derby Pond Survey 2004/05 has provided us with information about the number, quality and location of ponds within the city. It realised an 88% decline in number of ponds in the last 100 years and only 6 have retained great crested newts. However that there were a total of 88 different wetland plants across the 69 ponds surveyed.
Nationally, about two thirds of all Britain's freshwater plants and animals are found in ponds. There are at least 4000 species of freshwater invertebrates in the UK, over two thirds of which are found in ponds. Without ponds there would be nowhere for frogs, toads or newts to breed.
Ponds are also important for people. Ponds have enormous educational, historical and cultural value. Ponds can introduce children to the way in which nature works in the countryside around them.
Volunteer Pond Wardens are a valuable asset to the work of WildDerby because they are local to the area and have a 'finger on the pulse' of what's happening with 'their' pond. They can contribute to the maintenance of optimal conditions for our ponds and their wildlife to thrive for our pleasure and for future generations.
What is the time commitment?
As much or as little as you can spare. Some tasks such as keeping an eye on the pond could be combined with current activities such as walking the dog or taking the children to school. Perhaps you could join with family or neighbours for a 'local project'.
What skills and knowledge do I need to be a pond warden?
The most important quality is to have some passion for local ponds and wildlife. Some training will be available along with information packs and regular newsletters.
What support will I get?
DCPWA will offer training, information, networking opportunities and equipment loan and, if necessary, a pond near you. Please gain permission from the land owner if it is in private ownership.
What's in it for me?
Satisfaction of contributing to the maintenance of your local environment and pond life. Holding 'open days' on your pond, and networking with other pond wardens. But above all to have FUN!
To find out more view the Derby Pond Warden Handbook