The National Pond Survey method is the recommended method for detailed professional assessment of a site. It requires considerable expertise to assess a wide range of environmental and chemical characteristics of a site and identification of plant and invertebrate species.

What is the National Pond Survey?

We launched the National Pond Survey in 1989, with support from WWF, when we were called Pond Conservation. Covering 200 ponds in semi-natural habitats, it was the first survey of its kind in the world.

The National Pond Survey provided the first extensive datasets on England’s pond biodiversity and paved the way for us to play a key role in championing small waterbodies in the UK and internationally.

Since 1989, the National Pond Survey has been used for a number of national studies. It is the basis for many other regional and national surveys, including the DETR1 Lowland Pond Survey 19962, and Pond Action’s national survey of degraded ponds which was undertaken between 1995 and 1998 with funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

The National Pond Survey remains the recommended method for detailed professional assessment of a site.


About the National Pond Survey method

The National Pond Survey method is a standard survey methodology, which can be used to gather physical, chemical and biological data for ponds.

The aim of the survey method is to ensure consistent collection of biological and environmental data from ponds. The method:

  • provides a checklist of environmental factors, which can be important in describing pond types or explaining biological quality
  • enables biological and physico-chemical data to be directly compared with the results of other regional and national surveys
  • enables the biological quality of ponds to be assessed using Pond Action’s assessment methods based on the plant and/or animal communities recorded from the pond.
Download the Guide to the National Pond Survey method
Young woman standing in a pond wearing boots and examining a plant.