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

Chaddesden Park Ponds

Chaddesden Park



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

August 2011

Protecting Wildlife for the future

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

Chaddesden Park Ponds

Background

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust was commissioned to survey the two ponds located within Chaddesden Park as part of the Wild About Ponds Project in order to provide management recommendations based upon the findings of the survey. It would also provide baseline data against which future survey information could be compared.

Map 1 shows the location of the ponds. The two ponds were created by the WildDerby partnership and Derby City Council in December 2009 within an area of tall rank grassland in the north-east corner of Chaddesden Park and are in close proximity to allotments, hedgerows, scrub and mixed plantation woodland which provide excellent terrestrial habitat for amphibians.

Chaddesden Park

The site is owned by Derby City Council and managed by the City Council Parks Department. At present one part-time Ranger is allocated to the Park and the Friends of Chaddesden Park maintain a watchful eye over the site in association with the Ranger and the Parks Department. The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) and Groundwork have also been involved in carrying out various works on the ponds. Two pond wardens, as part of the Derby City Pond Warden Association, are specifically associated with the ponds.

Butyl liner was used in the construction of the ponds to ensure that they held water throughout the year and as they are located within a well-used public park there was a degree of pressure to plant up the ponds for aesthetic effect. The planting was achieved as part of an organised event involving Groundwork, Derby City Pond Wardens Association and local schoolchildren. The project was completed in February 2009.

During summer 2009 it was noted that the planting had resulted in the introduction of the highly invasive non-native Floating Pennywort, Hydrocotyle ranunculoides. Fortunately, as a result of the continual manual removal of the plants throughout the year and constant vigilance by the pond wardens, the plants appear to have been eradicated from the ponds.

The ponds are used for pond dipping and educational purposes.

Survey objectives

The aim of the survey was to gather ecological information using the PSYM methodology in order to determine the current overall ecological quality of the ponds.

Methodology

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 water body’s overall quality status.

The recommended time of year for carrying out PSYM pond surveys is during June, July and August. The pond was surveyed during August 2010.

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.

Results

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

Chaddesden Park Pond

Site and sample details

Grid reference: SK 38464 36868

Site Name: Chaddesden Park Pond

Location: Chaddesden Park, Chaddesden

Owner/site access details: Derby City Council

Survey Date: 21st June 2010Surveyors: Trevor Taylor (Derbyshire Wildlife Trust)
Helen Wright
George Daly



Environmental Data

Altitude: (m)58m aslpH:8.80
Shade: % pond overhung:0%% emergent plant cover15%
Inflow (absent = 0, present = 1):0Pond area (m2)47m2
% of pond margin grazed:0

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

Clay/silt:1Sand, gravel, cobbles:1Bed rock:1
Peat1Other3

Emergent plants Rarity Score Trophic Ranking Score
 
Alisma plantago-aquatica, Water-plantain19
Alopecurus aequalis, Orange Foxtail 2 -
Butomus umbellatus, Flowering-rush 2 (1) -
Caltha palustris, Marsh-marigold 1 7
Epilobium hirsutum, Great Willowherb 1 -
Iris pseudoacorus, Yellow Iris1-
Lythrum salicaria, Purple Loosestrife1-
Mentha aquatica, Water Mint17.3
Myosotis scorpioides, Water Forget-me-not19
Typha latifolia, Bulrush18.5
Veronica beccabunga, Brooklime110
 
Floating-leaved plants
 
Lemna minor, Common Duckweed19
Lemna trisulca, Ivy-leaved Duckweed110
Nymphaea spp, Water lily1-
Nymphoides peltata, Fringed Water-lily4 (1)-
Submerged plants
 
Callitriche platycarpa, Various-leaved Water-starwort2-
Ceratophyllum demersum, Rigid Hornwort2 (1)10
Elodea nuttallii, Nuttall’s Waterweed110
Hippuris vulgaris, Mares-tail2 (1)7.7

Figures in red brackets denote an adjustment to reflect the known deliberate introduction of uncommon plant species.

Number of emergent and submerged species - 15
Number of uncommon species (with a rarity score of 2 or more) - 2

Trophic Ranking Score - 8.86


Macroinvertebrates
Group 2 taxa (BMWP:8)
Libellulidae (Dragonfly, Broad-bodied Chaser, Libellula depressa)

Group 4 taxa (BMWP:6)
Gammaridae - Crustacean (Shrimp)

Group 5 taxa (BMWP:5)
Gerridae - Water bug (Water skater)
Notonectidae - Water bug (Greater Water boatman)
Hydrophilidae - Water beetle (scavenger)

Group 7 taxa (BMWP:3)
Lymnaeidae - Snail (Greater Pond Snail, Lymnaea stagnalis)
Physidae - Snail
Planorbidae - Ramshorn Snail
Glossiphoniidae - Leech
Asellidae - Crustacean ( Water slater)
Group 8 taxa (BMWP:2)
Chironomidae - Fly (Non biting midge)

Group 9 taxa (BMWP:1)
Oligochaetae - True Worm

Total No. Of taxa12
Total BMWP Score47
ASPT3.9
No. OM taxa1
No. Coleopt taxa1

Index of Biotic Integrity (PSYM Score %) = 67. As such the pond would be considered to be in fair ecological condition.


Chaddesden Park Swamp

Site and sample details

Grid reference: SK 38461 36858

Site Name: Chaddesden Park Swamp

Location: Chaddesden Park, Chaddesden

Owner/site access details: Derby City Council

Survey Date: 21st June 2010Surveyors: Trevor Taylor (Derbyshire Wildlife Trust)
Helen Wright
George Daly



Environmental Data

Altitude: (m)57m aslpH:7.41
Shade: % pond overhung:0%% emergent plant cover15%
Inflow (absent = 0, present = 1):0Pond area (m2)40m2
% of pond margin grazed:0

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

Clay/silt:1Sand, gravel, cobbles:1Bed rock:1
Peat1Other3

Emergent plants Rarity Score Trophic Ranking Score
 
Alisma plantago-aquatica, Water-plantain19
Alopecurus geniculatus, Marsh Foxtail 2 -
Butomus umbellatus,, Flowering-rush 2 (1) -
Caltha palustris, Marsh-marigold 1 7
Iris pseudoacorus, Yellow Iris1-
Juncus articulatus, Jointed Rush1-
Lythrum salicaria, Purple Loosestrife1-
Mentha aquatica, Water Mint17.3
Myosotis scorpioides, Water Forget-me-not19
Ranunculus lingua, Greater Spearwort2 (1)-
Typha latifolia, Bulrush18.5
Veronica beccabunga, Brooklime110
 
Floating-leaved plants
 
Lemna minor, Common Duckweed19
 
Submerged plants
 
Callitriche platycarpa, Various-leaved Water-starwort2-

Figures in red brackets denote an adjustment to reflect the known deliberate introduction of uncommon plant species.

Number of emergent and submerged species - 13
Number of uncommon species (with a rarity score of 2 or more) - 1


Trophic Ranking Score - 8.54


Macroinvertebrates
Group 2 taxa (BMWP:8)
Libellulidae (Dragonfly, Broad-bodied Chaser, Libellula depressa)

Group 4 taxa (BMWP:6)
Gammaridae - Crustacean (Shrimp)

Group 5 taxa (BMWP:5)
Planariidae - Flatworm
Gerridae - Water bug (Water skater)
Notonectidae - Water bug (Greater Water boatman)
Corixidae - Water bug (Lesser Water boatman)

Group 6 taxa (BMWP:4)
Baetidae - Mayfly

Group 7 taxa (BMWP:3)
Lymnaeidae - Snail (Greater Pond Snail, Lymnaea stagnalis)
Physidae - Snail
Planorbidae - Ramshorn Snail

Group 9 taxa (BMWP:1)
Oligochaetae - True Worm

Total No. Of taxa11
Total BMWP Score48
ASPT4.4
No. OM taxa1
No. Coleopt taxa0

Index of Biotic Integrity (PSYM Score %) = 61. As such the pond would be considered to be in fair ecological condition.

Conductivity tests to measure the total quantity of chemicals dissolved in the water returned a reading of 320μS/cm for the pond and 380μS/cm for the swamp. These figures indicate that the water in both ponds is reasonably clean and free from pollution. Where conductivity is 500-1000 + μS/cm this is usually a sign of some kind of pollution and a perfectly clean water pond would have a figure of 100μS/cm or less.


Chaddesden Park Swamp

Chaddesden Park Swamp


Survey results

Both of the ponds were planted with a diverse range of aquatic plants upon their creation and have since been colonised by a good range of aquatic invertebrates within a relatively short space of time. They have also quickly developed into valuable amphibian breeding sites for common frog and smooth newt.

Three-spined Stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, are also present in the pond in good numbers.

Noticeable features of the pond include the presence of small but steadily increasing populations of the Derbyshire Red Data Book plants Orange Foxtail, Alopecurus aequalis, and Various-leaved Water-starwort, Callitriche platycarpa. Orange Foxtail is a grass which grows on areas of bare mud at the north-east corner of the pond distinguished by the presence of striking orange anthers. Whilst the other uncommon plants present in the ponds, including Flowering Rush, Greater Spearwort, Rigid Hornwort and Fringed Water lily, were known to be the result of deliberate planting it is likely that the two Red Data Book species have naturally colonised the pond.

Orange Foxtail

Orange Foxtail, Alopecurus aequalis

It is noted that the western bank of the pond is rather steep sided resulting in the exposure of liner particularly at times of low water levels in periods of prolonged dry weather It is recognised that this presents a potential safety issue during pond dipping activities.

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Chaddesden Park Map