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

Elm Wood Ponds

Elm Wood, Allenton



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

Elm Wood LNR Ponds

Background

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust was commissioned to survey two newly created ponds within Elm Wood Local Nature Reserve as part of the Wild About Ponds Project in order to obtain baseline survey information for the ponds on which comparisons can be made in future years as the ponds become established.

Elm Wood is located in Allenton, Derby and Map 1 shows the location of the ponds within the site. The wood covers an ancient woodland site with an area of 1.86ha and is occupied by broadleaved woodland with Ash and Elm occurring as the main canopy species. The wood was designated a Local Wildlife Site (DE067) in 1990 on account of its ancient woodland origin and was declared as a Local Nature Reserve in June 2009.

The site is under the ownership of Derby City Council and the City Council Parks Department is responsible for site management. Access to the wood is restricted by security fencing and there is a requirement for access to be made using a visitor reporting system which is administered from the reception area of Moorways Sports Centre which is adjacent to the site. The wood is used occasionally for educational visits by Walbrook Nursery School in Normanton.

One of the main management recommendations of the Management Plan (2009-2013) produced by Nick Law (Derbyshire Wildlife Trust) was to create some small woodland ponds to provide additional habitat diversity. Subsequently, two small ponds were created by BTCV on the 8th, 13th and 14th April 2010 to fulfil the objective of providing additional habitat diversity and potentially increasing the biodiversity interest of the site, particularly with regard to amphibians and invertebrates. Damp-proof membrane was used to line the ponds to ensure that the ponds retain water.

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 July 2011.

In addition, a specific amphibian survey of the ponds was carried out on the nights of March 20th 2011 and 7th April 2011 using torchlight survey methods.

The following information was gathered for each pond:

Results

Site and sample details

Grid reference: SK 36412 32671

Site Name: Elm Wood Pond 1

Location: Elm Wood Local Nature Reserve, Allenton

Owner/site access details: Derby City Council via Moorways Sports Centre

Survey Date: 18th July 2011Surveyors: Trevor Taylor (Derbyshire Wildlife Trust)
Vanessa Amaral-Rogers

Environmental Data

Altitude: (m)73m aslpH:8.14
Shade: % pond overhung:90%% emergent plant cover0%
Inflow (absent = 0, present = 1):0Pond area (m2)16m2
% 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

A conductivity test to measure of the total quantity of chemicals dissolved in the water returned a reading of 1260µS/cm. This figure indicates that the pond is somewhat polluted. 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.

Macroinvertebrates

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

Total No. Of taxa1
Total BMWP Score2
ASPT2
No. OM taxa0
No. Coleopt taxa0


Grid reference: SK 36412 32602

Site Name: Elm Wood Pond 2

Location: Elm Wood Local Nature Reserve, Allenton

Owner/site access details: Derby City Council via Moorways Sports Centre

Survey Date: 18th July 2011Surveyors: Trevor Taylor (Derbyshire Wildlife Trust)
Vanessa Amaral-Rogers


Environmental data

Altitude: (m)59m aslpH:7.95
Shade: % pond overhung:92%% emergent plant cover0%
Inflow (absent = 0, present = 1):0Pond area (m2)20m2
% 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

Macroinvertebrates

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

Total No. Of taxa1
Total BMWP Score2
ASPT2
No. OM taxa0
No. Coleopt taxa0

A conductivity test to measure of the total quantity of chemicals dissolved in the water returned a reading of 1440µS/cm. This figure indicates that the pond is somewhat polluted. 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

The only species found to be present in both ponds were good numbers of Chrionomid larvae. No aquatic plants were present and the ponds do not yet support any amphibians.

Due to the absence of aquatic vegetation and the paucity of invertebrates associated with both of the ponds it was not possible to obtain any PSYM scores.

It was noted during the survey visits that the ponds are subject to a relatively high degree of disturbance with logs and other woody debris having been deposited in both

of the ponds. It is likely that the high conductivity reading of the water in the ponds is due to the presence of tannins as a result of the accumulation of woody material in the ponds. There is also a fair proportion of exposed liner around the edges of the ponds which has potential to be subject to vandalism.

Elm Wood, Allenton

Pond 1

Elm Wood, Allenton

Pond 2

The areas of exposed liner were rectified by re-profiling works carried out on 2nd August 2011 by BTCV.

Elm Wood, Allenton

Pond1 after re-profiling and debris removal, August 2011




Recomendations

It is recommended that any logs and woody debris are removed from the ponds on a regular basis. All removed material should be placed a reasonable distance from the pond to minimise the probability of the material being placed back in the pond.

The ponds should be surveyed on an annual basis using the PSYM Methodology in order to monitor any colonisation of the ponds by both aquatic plants and invertebrates. The results of the surveys should be forwarded to Derby City Pond Wardens Association and the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.

The ponds should be subject to a survey for breeding amphibians on an annual basis between the months of March to June. Any records of amphibians should be sent to the County Amphibian Recorder (Chris Monk).

Elm Wood Map