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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Complete rather than partial clearance of ponds was more effective management for the recolonisation of bearded stonewort in England

Published source details

Furnborough P., Kirby P., Lambert S., Pankhurst T., Parker P. & Piec D. (2011) The effectiveness and cost efficiency of different pond restoration techniques for bearded stonewort and other aquatic taxa. Report on the Second Life for Ponds project at Hampton Nature Reserve in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. Froglife report.

This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Restore or create wetlands Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 2008–2010 on a wetland near Peterborough, UK (Furnborough et al. 2011), found that partial pond restoration using mechanical or manual methods led to greater persistence of water voles Arvicola amphibius than did complete mechanical restoration. No statistical analyses were performed. After management, the number of pond visits (out of 12: four visits to each of three ponds) revealing water vole presence at partial manual restoration ponds (nine) and partial mechanical restoration ponds (nine) was greater than at full mechanical restoration ponds (two) and similar to that at unmanaged ponds (10). Before management, water voles were present at all ponds set to undergo restoration and at two of three unmanaged ponds. Pond restoration took place between October 2008 and January 2009, on a 126-ha site. Four ponds were restored by complete mechanical excavation of edge and bottom vegetation, four by mechanical clearance of 15 m of pond edge, four by manual clearance of 15 m of pond edge and four were unmanaged. Ponds were in three replicate clusters. Monitoring entailed searches for water vole feeding signs or latrines in autumn 2008 (pre-restoration) and in June, September and October 2009 and March 2010 (post-restoration).

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)

Create ponds for great crested newts Amphibian Conservation

A replicated, before-and-after study in 2008–2010 of 13 created ponds in a nature reserve with many existing ponds in England, UK (Furnborough et al. 2011) found that some created ponds were colonized by small numbers of great crested newts Triturus cristatus. One pond had six and another 18 newts in one year. However, the majority of ponds that contained newts had only one or two animals. In winter 2008–2009, 13 new ponds were created. Torchlight surveys were undertaken in March-June 2009–2010.


Restore ponds Amphibian Conservation

A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 2008–2010 of nine restored ponds in a reserve in England, UK (Furnborough et al. 2011) found that dredging and vegetation clearance did not appear to significantly increase great crested newt Triturus cristatus numbers in the first two years. Results were difficult to interpret but suggested that complete restoration and partial manual restoration did not significantly change numbers of newts. Data suggested that partial mechanical restoration may have had resulted in slight increases in newts. In winter 2008–2009, three groups of four ponds had sediment and vegetation removed by: partial manual clearance, partial mechanical clearance with an excavator, complete mechanical clearance or no management (controls). Torchlight surveys were undertaken before restoration and in March–June 2009–2010. Survey effort varied between years.