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Scoping the potential of farm ponds to provide environmental benefits - ES0109

This project reviews the existing world literature and assembles available knowledge to assess the potential of strategically located farm ponds to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loading of surface waters from UK agriculture. This potential is examined with reference to optimising hydrological function and the mechanisms of nutrient retention and removal under conditions relevant for typical livestock farming scenarios in the west of the UK. The potential of ponds to provide other environmental benefits such as enhanced visual amenity and wildlife habitats as well as increased economic sustainability is also reviewed. Potential disbenefits will be identified. Recommendations as to whether and how this approach to the control of diffuse pollution from agriculture should be implemented will be produced.
1. Review existing information on current numbers, size distribution, location, dispersion and water quality of UK farm ponds.
2. Review existing information on functional capacity of ponds to retain N and P from surface drainage from agriculture in relation to hydrological specification and physical, chemical and biological mechanisms of retention.
3. To review existing knowledge on pond construction and maintenance for effective N and P retention
4. To apply information obtained in 1-3 above to quantify potential of ponds functioning under UK conditions for N and P retention within a typical intensive livestock farm situated in the West of the UK. To scale this potential up to the catchment.
5. To review information on the potential of farm ponds to increase wildlife habitats and improve amenity value and landscape aesthetics
6. To list and carry out a preliminary review of disbenefits from increased numbers of UK farm ponds
Project Documents
• Final Report : Scoping the potential of farm ponds to provide environmental benefits   (546k)
• Final Report - Annex : Scoping the potential of farm ponds to provide environmental benefits   (1075k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2002

To: 2002

Cost: £23,289
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Institute of Grassland and Environment Research (IGER)
Environmental Protection              
Habitat conservation              
Nature conservation