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

Chaddesden Wood Ponds

Chaddesden Wood



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

October 2012

Protecting Wildlife for the future

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

Chaddesden Wood Ponds

Background

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust was commissioned to survey two ponds within Chaddesden Wood Local Nature Reserve as part of the Wild About Ponds Project in order to obtain baseline survey information for the ponds and to provide management recommendations based upon the findings of the survey. It would also enable a comparison of survey results against data obtained as part of the 2004/5 Derby City Pond Survey.

Chaddesden Wood is located in Oakwood on the north-eastern edge of Derby near the border with Erewash Borough Council. Map 1 shows the location of the ponds within the site. The entire wood covers an area of 9.3ha and is occupied by acidic oak-birch woodland. It is bounded on two sides by residential development with farmland to the north. The wood was designated a Local Wildlife Site (DE001) in 1990 on account of its ancient semi-natural woodland origin and was declared as a Local Nature Reserve in 1991.

The whole site is owned by Derby City Council and a Friends Of group known as the Friends of Chaddesden Wood are actively involved in carrying out management tasks in the wood and organising public events such as Moth and Bat Walks.

A circular path runs through the wood which is well used by the general public and a Nature Trail leaflet detailing the biodiversity of the site was produced by the Friends of Chaddesden Wood in 2012.

A Management Plan for the wood was prepared in 2002 by James Frith in support of the site’s declaration as a local nature reserve and a follow-on plan was produced by James Frith in 2012 covering a further ten year period

The larger and older of the two ponds was formed in 1995 by BTCV and the 2002 management plan identified the pond as forming a focus for visitor pressure with severe degradation as a result of dogs constantly jumping in and out of the water. The pond was described as being filled with leaf litter and soil eroded from the banks due to the ingress of dogs. No aquatic plants were present and the planting of species such as meadowsweet, yellow iris and greater pond sedge was recommended. The planting was carried out and is beginning to establish around the north bank of the pond. A low wooden railing was erected around the pond following the production of the 2002 management plan in an attempt to minimise disturbance but this was subsequently subject to vandalism and removed.

Chaddesden Wood

Pond 1 - 2005

The pond is of a temporary seasonal nature and rapidly dries out due to its shallow nature as a result of the deposition of soil from bank erosion caused by the regular jumping in and out of dogs together with the accumulation of leaf litter. Large numbers of common frogs are attracted to the pond and nearby ditches every year to breed but very little breeding success has ever been confirmed due to the pond drying out before the tadpoles have had sufficient time to successfully metamorphose into adults.

A public consultation event held in 2012 by the Friends of Chaddesden Wood to identify ways in which the habitat could be improved, favoured the erection of a dead hedge barrier around the pond to try and reduce the amount of disturbance from dogs.

A second smaller pond was formed in 2009 as part of a Wildweek on Ponds event. The pond was constructed using a liner in order to achieve a more permanent water body with the intention of providing the local amphibian population with a feature capable of achieve greater breeding success. Attempts have been made to introduce aquatic plants to the pond but have been subject to removal and vandalism on each occasion.

Attempts to create two further ponds in 2009 along the line of the ditch system were unsuccessful.



Chaddesden Wood

pond 1 - 2009

Chaddesden Wood

pond 2 - 2009

(photographs by Maggie Cooper)

Survey objectives

The aim of the survey was to gather baseline ecological and environmental data for the ponds to enable comparisons to be made in future years as the ponds become established.

Methodology

The ponds were visited with a view to carrying out PSYM surveys in accordance with the standard methodology developed by Pond Action (now Pond Conservation) and the Environment Agency.

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 recommended time of year for carrying out PSYM pond surveys is during June, July and August. The ponds were surveyed during August 2011 together with visits to monitor the presence of breeding amphibians on March 26th 2011 and March 16th 2012.

The following information was gathered for each pond:

Results

Site and sample details

Grid reference: SK 38310 38967

Site Name: Chaddesden Wood Pond 1

Location: Chaddesden Wood Local Nature Reserve Oakwood

Owner/site access details: Derby City Council

Survey Date: 23rd August 2011Surveyors: Trevor Taylor (Derbyshire Wildlife Trust)

Environmental Data

Altitude: (m)105m aslpH:No Water Present in 2011
(7.90 in 2012)
Shade: % pond overhung:45%% emergent plant cover10%
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:3 Sand, gravel, cobbles:1Bed rock:1
Peat1Other1

During a survey visit on 26th March 2011 to monitor the amphibian breeding interest associated with pond, a conductivity test to measure of the total quantity of chemicals dissolved in the water returned a reading of 270µS/cm. This figure indicates that the pond is reasonably clean and lacking any significant contamination. 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

It was not possible to calculate a PSYM score for pond 1 as it was totally dry at the time of the PSYM survey visit and, as such, it was not possible to record any aquatic macroinvertebrates

Emergent plants Rarity Score Trophic Ranking Score
 
Carex riparia, Greater Pond-sedge110
Deschampsia caespitose, Tufted Hair-grass1-
Filipendula ulmaria, Meadowsweet1-
Glyceria maxima, Reed Sweet-grass110
Iris pseudoacorus, Yellow Iris1-

Number of emergent and submerged species - 5

Number of uncommon species (with a rarity score of 2 or more) - 0

Trophic Ranking Score - 10.00


Grid reference: SK 38238 38898

Site Name: Chaddesden wood Pond 2 (lined)

Location: Chaddesden Wood Local Nature Reserve Oakwood

Owner/site access details: Derby City Council

Survey Date: 23rd August 2012Surveyors: Trevor Taylor (Derbyshire Wildlife Trust)

Environmental Data

Altitude: (m)103m aslpH:8.06
Shade: % pond overhung:45%
% emergent plant cover0
Inflow (absent = 0, present = 1)0Pond area (m2)10m2
% of pond margin grazed:0

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

Clay/silt:1 Sand, gravel, cobbles:1Bed rock:1
Peat1Other3
Macroinvertebrates
Group 5 taxa (BMWP: 5)
Gerridae - Pond skaters

Group 7 taxa (BMWP: 3)
Physidae - Pond snail

Group 8 taxa (BMWP: 2)
Chironomidae - Fly (Non biting midge)

Total No. Of taxa3
Total BMWP Score10
ASPT3.3
No. OM taxa0
No. Coleopt taxa0

Emergent plants Rarity Score Trophic Ranking Score
 
Juncus effusus, Soft Rush1-
 
Floating leaved plants
Lemna minuta, Least Duckweed1-

Number of emergent and submerged species - 1

Number of uncommon species (with a rarity score of 2 or more) - 0

Trophic Ranking Score - 0

Index of Biotic Integrity (PSYM Score %) = 6. As such the pond would be considered to be in very poor ecological condition.

During a survey visit on 26th March 2011 to monitor the amphibian breeding interest associated with pond, a conductivity test to measure of the total quantity of chemicals dissolved in the water returned a reading of 260µS/cm. This figure indicates that the pond is reasonably clean and lacking any significant contamination. 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.

Survey Results

Pond 1

Pond 1 is located in a clearing in the wood at the side of the main circular path. It is surrounded by mature Pedunculate Oak, semi-mature Silver Birch and Beech with occasional Holly and Sycamore in the shrub layer.

Since the survey visits conducted in 2005 as part of the Derby City Pond Survey there has been a noticeable increase in the amount of aquatic vegetation that is now well-established on the north side of the pond which consists of Greater Pond-sedge, Carex riparia, Reed Sweet-grass, Glyceria maxima, Yellow Iris, Iris pseudoacorus and Meadowsweet, Filipendula ulmaria.

It was not possible to conduct a PSYM survey on Pond 1 during the survey visit due to the pond being totally dry. However, it was noted that the ingress of dogs continues to be a problem with lots of evidence of dog prints in the mud at the base of the pond. It was also noted that a quantity of woody debris had been thrown into the pond.

The pond continues to attract large numbers of common frog between the months of February and May to breed at the site with hundreds of tadpoles recorded on 14th March 2003 and large amounts of frogspawn observed on 26th March 2011. Even though the pond was dry at the commencement of the amphibian breeding season in 2012 reports of Common Frogs laying frogspawn on the mud were received on 16th March 2012.

It would appear that the accelerated rate of drying of the pond during the amphibian breeding season together with the regular disturbance from dogs entering and exiting the pond gives the local amphibian population very little chance of breeding success in relation to pond 1.

Pond 2

A small pond, roughly circular in outline, created in 2009 using a pond liner within a clearing in the woodland. The pond is surrounded by bracken and bramble with some degree of shading provided by immature Pedunculate Oak on the northern bank. A well-used narrow path leads to the pond from the main central path through the wood. The water in the pond is constantly turbid, presumably as a result of disturbance, and attempts to introduce aquatic plants have been subject to vandalism.

Woody debris and logs are regularly thrown into the pond.

Aquatic vegetation is limited to occasional clumps of Soft Rush, Juncus effusus, on the bank and frequent Least Duckweed, Lemna minuta, on the water surface.

A small amount of frog spawn was recorded in the pond in 2011 and common toad has been observed in the vicinity of the pond.

The PSYM survey returned a very low score of 6% indicating the pond to be in very poor ecological condition

Recommendations

Pond 1

Pond 2

Chaddesden Wood Map