Written by Graeme Davis
Ponds are said to be one of the single most important things you can introduce to your garden for wildlife. They range in size from less than a metre up-to thousands of square meters.
Ponds can be natural formations, such as bows in meandering rivers; or they can be artificially created as dew ponds for watering or washing livestock, as ornamental or commercial fishing ponds, or as balancing ponds to control water levels, such as at Augusta Park. Some may have formed following human activities in the area, such as from bomb craters or quarrying.
They are unique habitats for wildlife (especially in the absence of fish) as they are continually evolving. Unmanaged, many will fill in within a century. Some are ephemeral (such as one near Rooksbury Mill), meaning they only hold water for part of the year. This creates a great habitat for invertebrates, as predators have fewer chances to establish a population. Ponds also have draw- down zones, marking how the water level decreases in hot weather. Resist topping up the ponds, as the draw-down zone provides another essential habitat for plants to establish and insects like dragonflies to lay eggs.
Andover has a wealth of ponds; I have surveyed forty myself. One of the most historic is Rockmoor Pond in Vernham Dean, formed where three county borders meet (Wiltshire, Hampshire and Berkshire). There is an estimated 500, 000 ponds in the UK, in addition to three million garden ponds. Despite these numbers, good quality wildlife ponds have declined significantly by over 70% in the 20 th Century.
They provide home for rare and endangered plants, amphibians and insects like great crested newts, raft spiders, starfruit, water violet, pond mud snails and even grass snakes. Go and explore our local ponds, and consider putting one in your own garden too.
Natural Pond of Andover & Surrounds
- Anton Lakes 5 Ponds
- Rooksbury Mill 8 Ponds (Including a new pond)
- Chute – Village Pond, Limmer Pond, Causeway Pond &Ashmore Pond
- Vernham Dean, Rockmoor Pond & Knyghtesmere Pond
- Grateley Village Pond
- Combe Gibbet Wigmoreash Pond
- Chibolton Common 2 ponds
- Wildhern Lane Pond
- Harmony Woods Pond
- Penton Mewsey – Ford Pond and 1 extinct pond on village green
- Trinley Estate – Hackwood Pond & Dipping Pond
- Upper Clatford Church Pond
- Fosbury Ring Hilltop Pond Lloyds
- Charlton Place – 1 ornamental pond
- Light Theatre, Andover – College Pond
- Fyfield Lane, Appleshaw
- Mullen’s Pond Amesbury Road, Thruxton
- Rectory Lane,Penton Mewsey
- Foxcottte Lane (Swatton’s Field) pond