Bid made to preserve county's ponds

Witney Gazette: Oxford East MP Andrew Smith and charity director Jeremy Biggs at the nature reserve at Pinkhill Meadow, Farmoor Oxford East MP Andrew Smith and charity director Jeremy Biggs at the nature reserve at Pinkhill Meadow, Farmoor

CARNIVOROUS plants in Oxfordshire’s ponds are one species set to snap up a huge funding boost.

Oxford charity Pond Conservation has received initial support for a £965,000 bid from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The charity wants to fund a nationwide project preserving species such as the carnivorous bladderwort, reducing pond pollution and gathering data about pond life across the UK.

Charity director Jeremy Biggs said: “We are absolutely thrilled that HLF has agreed to support the development of the People, Ponds and Water programme.

“We have received the initial support but once you have that, 90 per cent of projects get through.”

The programme has three aims.

First, it will identify the UK’s 500 most important “flagship ponds”.

Mr Biggs said: “These are the crème de la crème of Britain’s freshwater habitats, jewels in the landscape making a unique contribution to Britain’s wildlife.”

In Oxfordshire, the charity has already identified several flagship ponds.

Pinkhill Meadow at Farmoor Reservoir has about 50 ponds that were created by Pond Conservation. They are now among the 20 per cent of ponds in the UK which are unpolluted. Oxfordshire’s other flagship ponds are in Otmoor, Little Wittenham and Fringford near Bicester.

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Local conservation groups will be asked to help monitor these ponds’ populations.

The second aim is to create a national species survey of all UK ponds called PondNet, training people to monitor species and upload sightings to a website.

The third aim will be to carry out a national pond pollution survey, run in collaboration with environmental education charity the Field Studies Council.

HLF has already awarded Pond Conservation £64,000 to develop its project, and the charity will find out next year whether it has earned the full £965,000.

The money will pay for five new regional project officers across the UK, along with equipment to test for pollution.

Comments (6)

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8:59am Sun 19 May 13

Myron Blatz says...

Thousands of homeless, some areas of Oxford East - including what used to be posh Littlemore - in the worst 10% Child Deprivation in England and MP Andrew Smith out there supporting ruddy ponds?
Thousands of homeless, some areas of Oxford East - including what used to be posh Littlemore - in the worst 10% Child Deprivation in England and MP Andrew Smith out there supporting ruddy ponds? Myron Blatz
  • Score: -4

8:59am Sun 19 May 13

Myron Blatz says...

Thousands of homeless, some areas of Oxford East - including what used to be posh Littlemore - in the worst 10% Child Deprivation in England and MP Andrew Smith out there supporting ruddy ponds?
Thousands of homeless, some areas of Oxford East - including what used to be posh Littlemore - in the worst 10% Child Deprivation in England and MP Andrew Smith out there supporting ruddy ponds? Myron Blatz
  • Score: -2

11:03am Sun 19 May 13

Severian says...

We heard you the first time Myron.

If they are going to clear ponds they could start with the Trigger Pond in Bucknell - it's now almost completely overgrown.
We heard you the first time Myron. If they are going to clear ponds they could start with the Trigger Pond in Bucknell - it's now almost completely overgrown. Severian
  • Score: 0

10:01am Mon 20 May 13

snert says...

If they're interested in studying pond life, go to Bicester Village on a bank holiday.
If they're interested in studying pond life, go to Bicester Village on a bank holiday. snert
  • Score: 0

10:14am Mon 20 May 13

Englishman says...

OK. Lets destroy everything and build more houses and use up even more resources then everyone can become pond life with no purpose in life. Better to keep things like this and educate people into their benefits. You only have to watch some of these so called reality TV shows to see the current mentality of people. How many under 40's can identify just ten species of native birds or trees?
OK. Lets destroy everything and build more houses and use up even more resources then everyone can become pond life with no purpose in life. Better to keep things like this and educate people into their benefits. You only have to watch some of these so called reality TV shows to see the current mentality of people. How many under 40's can identify just ten species of native birds or trees? Englishman
  • Score: 0

3:08pm Mon 20 May 13

PondConservation says...

After reading the feedback from this article, I would like to reply, on behalf of Pond Conservation.

A key purpose of this project is to work with a wide range of different groups, including giving disadvantaged communities the opportunity to build new skills, and provide access to new experiences. It also gives communities an opportunity to get out and about and engage with nature in a positive way, as well as helping protect threatened freshwater species, and put back clean water in the landscape, to counteract the effects of water pollution. The project will therefore have many benefits, and help safeguard the freshwater wildlife for future generations.
After reading the feedback from this article, I would like to reply, on behalf of Pond Conservation. A key purpose of this project is to work with a wide range of different groups, including giving disadvantaged communities the opportunity to build new skills, and provide access to new experiences. It also gives communities an opportunity to get out and about and engage with nature in a positive way, as well as helping protect threatened freshwater species, and put back clean water in the landscape, to counteract the effects of water pollution. The project will therefore have many benefits, and help safeguard the freshwater wildlife for future generations. PondConservation
  • Score: 2

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