Incredible habitats for a spectacular array of wildlife, wetlands and water habitats are of huge environmental significance. Unfortunately, an enormous number of ponds have been lost and many of those which remain are in poor condition. To make matters worse, few rivers and streams remain unaffected by human activity.
The construction of wetlands, ponds and scrapes for wildlife requires specialist skills and an excellent understanding of what native flora and fauna require to become established and then to thrive.
Wetlands, ponds and streams are aesthetically pleasing features of the landscape which offer a raft of benefits for people and wildlife alike. But it is vital that these areas are correctly constructed and maintained.
The importance of ponds should never be underestimated. Aesthetically pleasing and surprisingly diverse, ponds differ greatly in size and are features of a wide variety of habitats. An amazing two thirds of all native freshwater species are supported by ponds including more than 100 UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority species. A clean and properly maintained pond is one of the most effective ways to support our native wildlife.
I also provide a full consultancy and management plan for rivers and streams and have worked closely with river conservation organisations to create habitats within existing watercourses. Our watercourses provide food and shelter for wildlife including invertebrates, birds, small mammals and aquatic species. Lowland rivers and streams are nutrient rich and can support an exceptional variety of species because diversity increases as the flow of the water slows. These lowland watercourses are home to a wide variety of fauna and course fish including chub, dace and roach. The fish attract otters, herons and other predatory species. The most stable habitats also host white-clawed crayfish and even river mussel. Wet meadows along the river banks are important habitats for wading birds and wild flowers.
Rivers and streams are dynamic and will respond to any changes in water flow, sediment supply and channel form by altering their size and shape. These changes may extend far downstream from where they originate. This process leads to habitat loss and, unfortunately, new channel profiles have often been retained. It is vital that we work with nature and restore channel features and the biodiversity which has been lost. Otherwise both nature and our communities will suffer.
I am the contractor of choice to Freshwater Habitats Trust and undertake projects on their behalf which include the construction of wildlife ponds, wetlands and wetland complexes to reduce diffuse pollution from entering our streams and rivers. I work alongside ecologists to plan wetlands projects in order to ensure that freshwater habitat creation and restoration will be beneficial to the environment.