Flagship Ponds are the best of the best pond sites in the UK. These sites are particularly valuable because they support some of our rarest plants and animals, and the very richest freshwater communities. They can be individual ponds or a complex of ponds within a site.
We estimate that around 20% of the 400,000 or so countryside ponds in the UK will achieve Priority Pond status. Priority Ponds identified under the UK Habitat Action Plan (HAP) are those which meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Habitats of high conservation importance
- Ponds with species of high conservation importance
- Ponds with exceptional populations or numbers of key species
- Ponds of high ecological quality
- Other important pond types (e.g. duneslack ponds)
Flagship Ponds are a sub-set of around 1% of Priority Ponds (so far we’ve identified about 127 Flagship Sites). They are the best-of-the-best ponds, because they support one or more of the very rarest pond plant and animal species, a very rich assemblage of species, or an internationally important pond type.
An important reason for giving a pond Flagship status is to create a focus for protection and monitoring of the site, and to help raise awareness of a site’s importance at local and regional level. One of the benefits of granting a pond with Flagship status is that this should enable people/organisations to raise funds (national, regional or local) to develop projects that will ensure flagship sites:
(a) are monitored appropriately,
(b) have local “guardians” who keep an eye out for the site, and – where appropriate – liaise with the landowner and provide links with specialist advisers.
If you want to find out more about Flagship Ponds click here.
A list of current UK Flagship Ponds can be found here: Flagship_Ponds. This list will expand as new sites are nominated and approved subject to survey data. For more on the Flagship Pond sites in England Wales – with species lists where available – you can visit our WaterNet section.
As part of the HLF funded People, Ponds and Water (PPW) project, we are working with partner organisations and volunteers on 70 Flagship Ponds. The PPW Flagship Ponds project aims to help land managers and local people protect the very special species present on these sites. Where needed, the project provides links to experts, training, support and financial assistance so groups can monitor and manage their own local pond heritage for the long-term.