Protecting Wildlife for the futureRegisered charity no. 222212
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust was commissioned to survey the pond as part of the Wild About Ponds Project and provide management recommendations based upon the findings of the survey.
Map 1 shows the location of the pond which is located within the Sinfin Golf Course. The pond was designated as a Local Wildlife Site DE 040 in 1990 and is registered on the Derby City Wildlife Alert Map. However, prior to the 2004/05 survey the pond had not been surveyed since 1988 and has not been assessed against the revised Wildlife Site Selection guidelines.
At the time of the survey the site was under the ownership and management of Derby City Council although it is proposed that the management of the golf course will be transferred to a private company from April 2011.
The pond is largely buffered from the golf course management activities and the northern bank is left relatively undisturbed which has resulted in the development of a diverse grassy bank to the pond which is particularly important for damselflies. The southern bank is heavily shaded by tree cover with many branches entering the water.
The pond was surveyed as part of the 2004/5 Derby City Pond Survey and was also the subject of survey work for great crested newt in association with nearby development proposals. The results of the survey identified the pond as an important breeding site for Common Toad and Common Frog but no species of newts were found. The pond is known to support three-spined stickleback.
The pond forms part of a ditch system and in the past there has been several suspected pollution incidents. The 2004/05 survey certainly revealed very little invertebrate activity associated with the site although it was understood that major dredging had taken place in 2000.
In 2008, it was reported that the pond had taken on a pink colouration. Subsequent investigations revealed that the phenomenon was caused by bacteria as a result of anaerobic conditions due to high levels of organic matter within the pond.
The pond was surveyed for the presence of breeding amphibians and was surveyed using the PSYM methodology in order to determine the overall ecological quality of the pond to compare against the survey information gathered during the 2004/2005 Derby City Pond Survey.
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 waterbody’s overall quality status.
The following information was gathered for the pond:
The data collected from the surveys are used to calculate three plant metrics and three invertebrate metrics.
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.
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:
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.
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.
This metric is the sum of the number of dragonfly (Odonata) and alderfly (Megaloptera) 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.
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
Grid reference: SK 34500 31550
Site Name: Sinfin Golf Course Pond
Location: Sinfin Golf Course, Sinfin, Derby
Owner/site access details: Derby City Council - access via Phil Dews
|Survey Date: 30th June 2010||Surveyors:||Trevor Taylor (Derbyshire Wildlife Trust)|
|Altitude: (m)||31m asl||pH:||7.7|
|Shade: % pond overhung:||30%||% emergent plant cover||8%|
|Inflow (absent = 0, present = 1):||1||Pond area (m2)||2379m2|
|% 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:||1||Bed rock:||1|
|Emergent plants||Rarity Score||Trophic Ranking Score|
|Cardamine pratensis, Cuckooflower||1||-|
|Carex otrubae, False Fox-sedge||1||-|
|Eleocharis palustris, Common Spike-rush||1||-|
|Epilobium hirsutum, Great Willowherb||1||-|
|Filipendula ulmaria, Meadowsweet||1||-|
|Impatiens glandulifera, Indian Balsam||1||-|
|Iris pseudoacorus, Yellow Iris||1||-|
|Juncus effusus, Soft rush||1||-|
|Juncus inflexus, Hard Rush||1||-|
|Lotus pedunculatus, Greater Bird’s-foot-trefoil||1||-|
|Persicaria hydropiper, Water-pepper||1||10|
|Phalaris arundinacea, Reed Canary-grass||1||8.5|
|Scrophularia auriculata, Water Figwort||1||-|
|Solanum dulcamara, Bittersweet||1||10|
|Typha latifolia, Bulrush||1||8.5|
|Veronica beccabunga, Brooklime||1||10|
|Lemna minor, Common Duckweed||1||9|
|Persicaria amphibian, Amphibious Bistort||1||9|
|Potamogeton pectinatus, Fennel Pondweed||1||10|
Number of emergent and submerged species – 17
Number of uncommon species (with a rarity score of 2 or more) – 0
Trophic Ranking Score – 9.38
|Group 2 taxa (BMWP:8)|
|Lestidae – Damselfly|
|Calopterygidae - Damselfly|
|Group 3 taxa (BMWP:7)|
|Limnephilidae – Caddis fly|
|Group 4 taxa (BMWP:6)|
|Coenagriidae – Damselfly|
|Group 5 taxa (BMWP:5)|
|Notonectidae – Water bug Greater Water Boatman|
|Pleidae – Water bug|
|Corixidae – Water bug Lesser Water Boatman|
|Dytiscidae – Water beetle Diving|
|Gyrinidae – Water beetle Whirlygig|
|Hydrophilidae – Water beetle Scavenger|
|Group 6 taxa (BMWP:4)|
|Baetidae - Mayfly|
|Group 7 taxa (BMWP:3)|
|Planorbidae - Ramshorn snail|
|Lymnaeidae – Snail|
|Asellidae – Crustacean Water slater|
|Group 9 taxa (BMWP:1)|
|Oligochaetae - True worm|
|Total No. Of taxa||15|
|Total BMWP Score||73|
|No. OM taxa||3|
|No. Coleopt taxa||3|
Index of Biotic Integrity (PSYM Score %) = 72. As such the pond would be considered to be in fair ecological condition. This represents a noticeable increase in ecological condition, particularly with regard to increased invertebrate activity, compared with the survey results obtained in 2004/05 when the pond achieved a PSYM score of 50%
The ecological condition of the pond has increased significantly since the surveys undertaken in 2004 and 2005. The most dramatic change has been the increase in the range of aquatic invertebrates associated with the pond, particularly the number of damselflies and water beetles. The unmanaged grassland on the northern bank is particularly important for damselflies. The southern bank is devoid of any aquatic vegetation due to the presence of dense tree cover and heavy shading and items of debris, including a supermarket trolley and road cones are evident within the pond. The site supports a pair of Moorhen and Three-spined Sticklebacks were recorded during bottle-trapping
The pond supports a good breeding population of Common Toad, a UK BAP priority species, and Common Frog. Amphibian surveys in the form of torchlight surveys and bottle trapping during 2004 and on 8th May 2010 found no evidence of newts.
Left: Common Toad
The main ecological concern with regard to the site is the shading of the pond, particularly along the southern bank by the close proximity of dense tree growth, which has resulted in a lack of marginal aquatic vegetation. The trees also result in leaf deposition which increases the amount of organic matter in the pond.
Left: Pink colouration due to sulphur bacteria as a result of increased load of organic matter.
The removal and pruning back of a number of bankside trees, particularly along the southern bank, is the primary management objective in order to minimise the amount of leaf litter entering the pond. This operation should be carried out during the autumn and winter periods between September and February to minimise impacts upon nesting birds and breeding amphibians. It is important that some tree growth is retained to provide nesting habitat for moorhen.
All debris and litter should be removed from the pond.
Debris and sediment should be removed from the vicinity of the outflow to ensure the free passage of water.
Future management should be in the form of annual PSYM and amphibian surveys to monitor the success of the management work against the baseline information.
It is important that the current management regime for the northern bank is maintained to retain the undisturbed nature of the grassland to act as a buffer and provide ideal habitat for damselflies.