Wildlife Trust Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
East Mill, Bridge Foot, Belper, Derbyshire, DE56 1XH
Tel: 01773 881188 Fax: 01773 821826
E-mail: enquiries@derbyshirewt.co.uk

Sinfin Golf Course Pond

Sinfin Golf Course

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
East Mill
DE56 1XH
A report for the Wild About Ponds Project
Prepared by Trevor Taylor
Local Wildlife Sites Officer (Planning)
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

November 2010

Protecting Wildlife for the future

Regisered charity no. 222212
DWT is a company registered in England and Wales
with the Company Number 715675

Sinfin Golf Course Pond


Derbyshire Wildlife Trust was commissioned to survey the pond as part of the Wild About Ponds Project and provide management recommendations based upon the findings of the survey.

Map 1 shows the location of the pond which is located within the Sinfin Golf Course. The pond was designated as a Local Wildlife Site DE 040 in 1990 and is registered on the Derby City Wildlife Alert Map. However, prior to the 2004/05 survey the pond had not been surveyed since 1988 and has not been assessed against the revised Wildlife Site Selection guidelines.

At the time of the survey the site was under the ownership and management of Derby City Council although it is proposed that the management of the golf course will be transferred to a private company from April 2011.

The pond is largely buffered from the golf course management activities and the northern bank is left relatively undisturbed which has resulted in the development of a diverse grassy bank to the pond which is particularly important for damselflies. The southern bank is heavily shaded by tree cover with many branches entering the water.

The pond was surveyed as part of the 2004/5 Derby City Pond Survey and was also the subject of survey work for great crested newt in association with nearby development proposals. The results of the survey identified the pond as an important breeding site for Common Toad and Common Frog but no species of newts were found. The pond is known to support three-spined stickleback.

The pond forms part of a ditch system and in the past there has been several suspected pollution incidents. The 2004/05 survey certainly revealed very little invertebrate activity associated with the site although it was understood that major dredging had taken place in 2000.

In 2008, it was reported that the pond had taken on a pink colouration. Subsequent investigations revealed that the phenomenon was caused by bacteria as a result of anaerobic conditions due to high levels of organic matter within the pond.

Survey objectives

The pond was surveyed for the presence of breeding amphibians and was surveyed using the PSYM methodology in order to determine the overall ecological quality of the pond to compare against the survey information gathered during the 2004/2005 Derby City Pond Survey.


The survey followed the standard survey methodology known as PSYM developed by Pond Action (now Pond Conservation) and the Environment Agency. PSYM, the Predictive System for Multimetrics, (pronounced sim) was developed to provide a standard method for assessing the biological qualities of still waters in England and Wales.

The method uses a number of aquatic plant and invertebrate measures (known as metrics) which are combined together and fed into a computer model, along with basic environmental and location data, to obtain a single value which represents the waterbody’s overall quality status.

The following information was gathered for the pond:

Calculating the pond metrics

The data collected from the surveys are used to calculate three plant metrics and three invertebrate metrics.

1. Number of submerged and emergent plant species

This is simply the number of submerged plant species plus the number of emergent plant species. The calculation does not include the number of floating-leaved species present. This is because the pond data suggest that the number of floating-leaved plants occurring at a site does not decline significantly with increasing degradation. The metric is therefore improved by omitting this plant group.

2. Trophic Ranking Score (TRS)

TRS is a measure of the average trophic rank for the pond. This is calculated by assigning each plant species with a trophic score based on its affinity to waters of a particular nutrient status. The trophic scores vary between 2.5 (dystrophic, i.e. very nutrient poor conditions) and eutrophic, i.e. nutrient rich conditions).

Unfortunately, not all plants have trophic scores. This situation has arisen because the current TRS values for standing waters (Palmer et al., 1992) are based only on analysis of lake data, and many plant species which are common in ponds occurred at too low a frequency in lakes to give them a score. Also, some plant species exhibit little nutrient preference.

The TRS value for a site is calculated as follows:

  1. The trophic scores from each plant species present at the site are summed together.
  2. The summed score is divided by the total number of plant species which have a trophic ranking score to give the TRS.
3. Uncommon Species Index

Uncommon species are those which have a rarity score of 2 or more. The number of these species is simply summed to give the number of uncommon species.

Uncommon species refers to species which can be best described as "local", "nationally scarce" or "Red Data Book". The rarity status values for Scarce and Red Data Book species are based on existing definitions derived from the Red data Books and other authorities. The definition of "local" has been used to define species which are not uniformly common and widespread in Britain: with plants this refers specifically to species recorded from between 100 and 700 10 x 10 km squares in England, Wales and Scotland.

4. Average Score per Taxon (ASPT)

The ASPT is calculated by summing the BMWP scores for all taxa present at the site and dividing by the total number of BMWP taxa present.

BMWP (Biological Monitoring Working Party) scores are assigned to taxa depending on their known tolerance to organic pollution, a higher score indicating lower tolerance. The scores were defined by Maitland in 1977.

5. Number of dragonfly and alderfly families.

This metric is the sum of the number of dragonfly (Odonata) and alderfly (Megaloptera) families.

6. Number of beetle families

This metric is the sum of the number of beetle (Coleoptera) families present at the site. The metric has a relationship with bank quality as well as water quality.


The pond was surveyed using the PSYM methodology enabling an assessment of its biological quality to be made together with a comparison with other ponds in the area.

The PSYM scores are placed in four categories which reflect the ecological quality of the pond:

0-25% is very poor, 26-50% is poor, 51-75% is fair, and 76-100% is good

Site and sample details

Grid reference: SK 34500 31550

Site Name: Sinfin Golf Course Pond

Location: Sinfin Golf Course, Sinfin, Derby

Owner/site access details: Derby City Council - access via Phil Dews

Survey Date: 30th June 2010Surveyors: Trevor Taylor (Derbyshire Wildlife Trust)

Environmental data

Altitude: (m)31m aslpH:7.7
Shade: % pond overhung:30%% emergent plant cover8%
Inflow (absent = 0, present = 1):1Pond area (m2)2379m2
% of pond margin grazed:0

Pond base: categories into one of three groups; 1=0%-32%, 2=33%-66%, 3=67%-100%)

Clay/silt:3Sand, gravel, cobbles:1Bed rock:1
Emergent plants Rarity Score Trophic Ranking Score
Cardamine pratensis, Cuckooflower1-
Carex otrubae, False Fox-sedge1-
Eleocharis palustris, Common Spike-rush1-
Epilobium hirsutum, Great Willowherb1-
Filipendula ulmaria, Meadowsweet1-
Impatiens glandulifera, Indian Balsam1-
Iris pseudoacorus, Yellow Iris 1 -
Juncus effusus, Soft rush1-
Juncus inflexus, Hard Rush1-
Lotus pedunculatus, Greater Bird’s-foot-trefoil1-
Persicaria hydropiper, Water-pepper110
Phalaris arundinacea, Reed Canary-grass18.5
Scrophularia auriculata, Water Figwort1-
Solanum dulcamara, Bittersweet110
Typha latifolia, Bulrush18.5
Veronica beccabunga, Brooklime110
Floating-leaved plants
Lemna minor, Common Duckweed19
Persicaria amphibian, Amphibious Bistort19
Submerged plants
Potamogeton pectinatus, Fennel Pondweed110

Number of emergent and submerged species – 17
Number of uncommon species (with a rarity score of 2 or more) – 0

Trophic Ranking Score – 9.38

Group 2 taxa (BMWP:8)
Lestidae – Damselfly
Calopterygidae - Damselfly

Group 3 taxa (BMWP:7)
Limnephilidae – Caddis fly

Group 4 taxa (BMWP:6)
Coenagriidae – Damselfly

Group 5 taxa (BMWP:5)
Notonectidae – Water bug Greater Water Boatman
Pleidae – Water bug
Corixidae – Water bug Lesser Water Boatman
Dytiscidae – Water beetle Diving
Gyrinidae – Water beetle Whirlygig
Hydrophilidae – Water beetle Scavenger

Group 6 taxa (BMWP:4)
Baetidae - Mayfly

Group 7 taxa (BMWP:3)
Planorbidae - Ramshorn snail
Lymnaeidae – Snail
Asellidae – Crustacean Water slater

Group 9 taxa (BMWP:1)
Oligochaetae - True worm
Total No. Of taxa15
Total BMWP Score73
No. OM taxa3
No. Coleopt taxa3

Index of Biotic Integrity (PSYM Score %) = 72. As such the pond would be considered to be in fair ecological condition. This represents a noticeable increase in ecological condition, particularly with regard to increased invertebrate activity, compared with the survey results obtained in 2004/05 when the pond achieved a PSYM score of 50%

Survey Results

The ecological condition of the pond has increased significantly since the surveys undertaken in 2004 and 2005. The most dramatic change has been the increase in the range of aquatic invertebrates associated with the pond, particularly the number of damselflies and water beetles. The unmanaged grassland on the northern bank is particularly important for damselflies. The southern bank is devoid of any aquatic vegetation due to the presence of dense tree cover and heavy shading and items of debris, including a supermarket trolley and road cones are evident within the pond. The site supports a pair of Moorhen and Three-spined Sticklebacks were recorded during bottle-trapping

Sinfin Gold Course


Common Toad

The pond supports a good breeding population of Common Toad, a UK BAP priority species, and Common Frog. Amphibian surveys in the form of torchlight surveys and bottle trapping during 2004 and on 8th May 2010 found no evidence of newts.

Left: Common Toad

Management Recomendations

The main ecological concern with regard to the site is the shading of the pond, particularly along the southern bank by the close proximity of dense tree growth, which has resulted in a lack of marginal aquatic vegetation. The trees also result in leaf deposition which increases the amount of organic matter in the pond.

Pink colouration

Left: Pink colouration due to sulphur bacteria as a result of increased load of organic matter.

The removal and pruning back of a number of bankside trees, particularly along the southern bank, is the primary management objective in order to minimise the amount of leaf litter entering the pond. This operation should be carried out during the autumn and winter periods between September and February to minimise impacts upon nesting birds and breeding amphibians. It is important that some tree growth is retained to provide nesting habitat for moorhen.

All debris and litter should be removed from the pond.

Debris and sediment should be removed from the vicinity of the outflow to ensure the free passage of water.

Future management should be in the form of annual PSYM and amphibian surveys to monitor the success of the management work against the baseline information.

It is important that the current management regime for the northern bank is maintained to retain the undisturbed nature of the grassland to act as a buffer and provide ideal habitat for damselflies.

Sinfin Golf Course Map