We're asking people to help us estimate the number of ponds in England, so we can help protect them and the species they support.

Child pond dipping

Why is this work important?

Ponds are a critical habitat for freshwater biodiversity – so it’s very important that we know if we are gaining or losing ponds in this country. The last estimate of pond numbers in Britain was made over 15 years ago, in 2007 – which is too long to go without such valuable information. The Urban Pond Count aims to provide a regular estimate of the number of ponds in England, with help from citizen scientists.

Our project partners, Natural England, are collecting data for ponds in rural areas. The results of both these surveys will enable us to estimate the number of ponds in England so we can work towards their future protection.

Can you help us count England's ponds?

The aim is to count the number of ponds within representative 1km square areas across England, focusing on ponds in urban areas.

Volunteer citizen scientists can help with the survey and, from summer 2024, can also collect habitat data at the ponds (using our PASS survey) which enable us to identify more priority ponds.

Undertaking the survey involves searching all areas of a selected 1km square: checking out the ponds shown on existing maps to see if they are still there, and looking out for any new ponds. The results will be recorded in the field using a phone app.

When and where is the survey happening?

Please see the map for designated Urban Pond Count locations.

Year 1 of the Urban Pond Count is taking place from now until March 2024.

Year 2 will run from June 2024 – October 2024. In the second year of the project, volunteers will also be completing a PASS survey at each of their ponds to help us find more priority pond habitat!

How do I get involved?

Anyone can volunteer!

Under 18s are welcome to take part with their parent or guardian.

It’s really easy to get involved. Once you share your postcode, we will send you the nearest 1km square to survey. You will be asked to register as a Freshwater Habitats Trust volunteer and will be provided with training materials. The survey results will be recorded in the field using a phone app.

We hope that you will also continue to support our work by carrying out the PASS survey the following year and if you want another excuse to get outdoors take part in our annual PondNet Spawn Survey.

To get involved email fdunn@freshwaterhabitats.org.uk.

Volunteers surveying pond