As an organisation that’s grounded in science, we regularly write research papers and produce reports. Here you can find some of the more important scientific papers and reports we’ve written and published over the years.

Our scientific research

Below are scientific research papers, which include a Freshwater Habitats Trust author. Our research papers are arranged in order of citation, with most cited at the top.

Research papers and scientific articles

15 years of pond assessment in Britain The original Pond Action team, Aquatic conservation: marine and freshwater ecosystems, 2005
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Comparative biodiversity of aquatic habitats in the European agricultural landscape B. Davies et al, Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 2008
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Conservation and monitoring of pond biodiversity: introduction B. Oertli et al, Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 2005
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New approaches to the management of ponds Biggs, J., A. Corfield, D. Walker, M. Whitfield, and P. Williams, British Wildlife 5:273-287, 1994
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Indicator taxa for the conservation of pond invertebrate diversity A. Briers et al, Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 2003
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New policy directions for global pond conservation M.Hill et al, Conservation Letters, 2017
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Spatial patterns in pond invertebrate communities: separating environmental and distance effects A. Briers et al, Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 2005
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Small Water Bodies in Great Britain and Ireland W. Riley et al, Science of the Total Environment, 2018
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History, origins and importance of temporary ponds P. Williams et al, Freshwater Forum, Vol 17, 2001
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Restoration of the rivers Brede, Cole and Skerne J. Biggs et al, Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 1998
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Making agricultural landscapes more sustainable for freshwater biodiversity: a case study from southern England B. Davies et al, Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 2009
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Biological traits of European pond macroinvertebrates R. Céréghino et al, Hydrobiologia, 2012
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Designing new ponds for wildlife P. Williams et al, British Wildlife 8:137-15,1997
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Identifying optimum locations for new ponds B. Davies et al, Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 2003
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Macroinvertebrates in the catchment streams of Lake Naivasha, Kenya P.C. Barnard et al, Revue d'Hydrobiologie Tropicale, 1988
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Pond conservation in Europe B. Oertli et al, Developments in Hydrobiology, 2010
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Local contributions to beta diversity in urban pond networks M. Hill et al, Diversity and Distributions, 2021
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The ecology and management of urban pondscapes C. Hassall et al, Urban Landscape Ecology, 2016
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Water P. Morris et al, Methods of environmental impact assessment, 2001
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Preface: The importance of small water bodies M. Kelly-Quinn et al, Hydrobiologia, 2017
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Lakes and Ponds T. Bailey-Watts et al, The Hydrology of the UK, 1999
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Pond conservation in Europe: the European Pond Conservation Network (EPCN) N. Indermuehle et al, Internationale Vereinigung für Theoretische und Angewandte Limnologie: Verhandlungen, 2008
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Preface: Small water bodies in the landscape M. Kelly-Quinn et al, Hydrobiologia, 2023
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Finding Newts–Using Environmental DNA to Detect Great Crested Newts J. Biggs, Genetic Techniques and Technologies, 2018
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Copyright issues prevent us from publishing the full text of many of our published papers. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch.

Our reports - monitoring and policy

Below are monitoring and policy reports, arranged by topic. Freshwater Habitats Trust was formerly called Pond Action and Pond Conservation. Within each section, reports are arranged in chronological order, with most recent at the top.

We aim to include all our reports here, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch.

Biodiversity monitoring reports

Spring Covert pond survey Martin Hammond Ecology, 2017
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Survey of ponds at Oldhouse Yard Covert Martin Hammond Ecology, 2016
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Management Plan for Naphill Common Friends of Naphill Common, 2014
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Evaluation of a revised version of Canal PSYM based on edge only invertebrate sample Report to the Environment Agency (Midlands Region), Pond Conservation, 2001
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Lowland Pond Survey 1996 Pond Action, June 1998
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Restoration Project - Detailed flood plain vegetation monitoring A report for Pond Action by T. C. G. Rich, 1995
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Coleshill River Restoration Project Botanica l Survey A report for Pond Action by T. C. G. Rich, 1994
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A survey of Stanford Quarry and the Frogmore Brook Report for Oxfordshire County Council, Pond Action, 1994
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The Oxfordshire Pond Survey Volume 2 A Report to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-UK), Pond Action, 1994
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The Oxfordshire Pond Survey Volume 1 A Report to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-UK), Pond Action, 1994
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A survey of the aquatic macroinvertebrates of the Buckingham Stream, Norfolk Report to Alconbury Environmental Consultants, Pond Action, 1991
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A survey of the aquatic macroinvertebrates of the Berry Brook Report to the Colson-Stone Partnership, Pond Action, 1991
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Pinkhill Meadow wetland enhancement project, Farmoor, phase 2 – 1991-92 Recommendations given for the Pinkhill Meadow Wetland enhancement scheme: phase 2, February 1992
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Monitoring the Pinkhill Meadow wetlands: Autumn 1990-Winter 1991 Progress report for the National Rivers Authority (Thames Region), Pond Action, 1991
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Monitoring the Pinkhill Meadow wetlands: Summer 1990-Spring 1991 Progress report for the National Rivers Authority (Thames Region), Pond Action, 1991
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A survey of the aquatic macroinvertebrates of the Port Greenwich Gas Board ditch Report to Alconbury Environmental Consultants, Pond Action, 1990
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A ecological survey of the Upper Lake at Crystal Palace Report to the Hamlet Partnership, Pond Action, 1989
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A ecological survey of Uxbridge College pond Report to Herpetofauna International, Pond Action, 1989
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An ecological survey of Brerley Close Pond, Uxbridge Report to Herpetofauna International, Pond Action, 1989
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An ecological survey of the pond at Saunderton Pumping Station A report to Thames Water, Pond Action, 1988
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Important Areas for Ponds reports

The Important Areas for Ponds (IAP) concept was proposed and developed by Freshwater Habitats Trust to raise awareness of geographic regions that support ponds of national or international biodiversity importance. The project was successfully piloted in Wales (Nicolet et al. 2007) prior to ponds being added to the UK list of BAP Priority Habitats in 2007, and IAPs have now been completed for South-east England and Northern Ireland.

Conceptually, IAPs are similar to initiatives developed by other organisations:

  • Birdlife International’s Important Bird Areas (IBAs).
  • Plantlife International’s Important Plant Areas (IPAs) and Important Stonewort Areas (ISAs).

The aim of IAPs is to identify networks of the most important ponds and their biodiversity. These areas can then be used to help focus strategies for pond monitoring, protection and appropriate management and creation.

Some of our biodiversity monitoring reports (eg eDNA for Great Crested Newt) are listed separately below.

National Pond Survey reports

Below are reports produced for the National Pond Survey, which we launched 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.

Policy reports

These are reports produced for policymakers.

Defining and Mapping Pond Irreplaceable Habitat P. Williams, W. Watson, G. King-Salter, M. Hammond, 2022
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Report of the Workshop on the Protection and Management of Small Water Bodies European Environmental Bureau, European Commission, Lithuanian Presidency and Freshwater Habitats Trust, 2013
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Countryside Survey Ponds Report, 2007
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Ponds, pools and lochans Guidance on good practice in the management and creation of small waterbodies in Scotland, SEPA and Pond Action, 2000
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Proceedings of the Ponds Conference 1998 Pond Action & The Ponds Conservation Trust
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Some reports in other sections (eg Water Friendly Farming) are also related to policy.

PSYM method reports

These are reports from our work to develop the PSYM (Predictive SYstem for Multimetrics) method to provide a means of assessing the quality of waterbodies in England and Wales.

Species surveys

These reports relate to surveys focusing on individual species.

Our reports - projects

Below are reports, which are outputs of Freshwater Habitats Trust projects – past and present.

We aim to include all our reports here, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch.

BFER LPS Citizen Science: Testing the Water 2020-present

Testing the Water is part of The Brecks’ Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme (BFER LPS), is a Landscape Heritage Scheme for the Norfolk and Suffolk Brecks. It builds on the legacy of the Breaking New Ground Landscape Partnership Scheme (2013-17) to continue to develop and refocus engagement, public awareness and positive action on the heritage of The Brecks’ fen edge, river and wetland landscapes in this unique part of East Anglia.

Building Oxfordshire's Freshwater Network 2022-2023

Wetland Arts brochure Produced for GroWet
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Clean Water for Wildlife

Clean Water for Wildlife was a Heritage Lottery funded citizen science survey that aimed to raise awareness of the true extent of nutrient pollution. It helped us identify clean water habitats in England and Wales, where wildlife can thrive and to reveal the extent of nutrient pollution impacting freshwater life today.

New Forest Catchment Partnership projects

As co-hosts of the New Forest Catchment Partnership, we run many different projects in the Forest.

Newt Conservation Partnership 2018-present

The Newt Conservation Partnership is a community benefit society formed through partnership between charities, Freshwater Habitats Trust and Amphibian and Reptile Conservation. Our sole purpose is to create and restore high quality habitat for Great Crested Newt. We are funded via the NatureSpace Partnership District Licensing Scheme.

Each year, we carry out monitoring reports on the ponds that have been created through the scheme.

Oxfordshire Fens Project and Saving Oxford's Wetland Wildlife

People Ponds and Water 2015-2018

The People, Ponds and Water project was a national partnership working with volunteers across England and Wales to monitor, manage and protect freshwater wildlife. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

PondNet reports are included in this section.

A Vegetative Key to Wetland Plants John Poland and Freshwater Habitats Trust, 2019
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Prosiect Pobl, Pyllau a Dwr Adroddiad Cryno Freshwater Habitats Trust, 2018
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Pond habitat survey method booklet Freshwater Habitats Trust, 2017
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PondNet eDNA surveys for Great Crested Newt 2015-present

Each year since 2015, we’ve used pioneering Environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques to monitor Great Crested Newts and other aquatic animals in key locations across England.

This is the first national Great Crested Newt eDNA monitoring scheme.

River Irfon catchment project

We have been working in the Irfon catchment since 2018, building on work that began in mid-Wales in the mid 2000s as part of the People, Ponds and Water project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Through our Welsh Government funded Irfon Catchment Resilient Freshwater Habitats project, we worked with local landowners and communities to monitor water quality and carry out species monitoring.

River Ock catchment reports

Freshwater Habitats Trust hosts the River Ock Catchment Partnership. Here are reports relating to the catchment.

Saving Nidderdale's Priority Ponds 2021-2024

Saving Nidderdale’s Priority Ponds is a partnership project between Nidderdale AONB and Freshwater Habitats Trust. Phase one of the project was funded through Yorkshire Water’s Biodiversity Programme.

Thame River Catchment Partnership

The Thame Catchment Partnership is jointly hosted by the River Thame Conservation Trust and Freshwater Habitats Trust. Together, we’re working for a healthy river catchment, valued and enjoyed by local people.

Thames Water for Wildlife 2015-2017

The Upper Thames Wetland Project