Wales Biodiversity Partnership


This is the information page for the WBP Freshwater Ecosystem Group. The Freshwater Ecosystem Group activities relate to the following Section 7 priority habitats in Wales: Eutrophic Standing Waters; Mesotropic Lakes; Oligotrophic and Dystrophic Lakes; Ponds; Aquifer-fed Naturally Fluctuating Water Bodies; Rivers

Wales has high quality riverine habitats supporting salmon, otter and a rich invertebrate assemblages. There is also a distinctive plant community adapted to acid, low-nutrient conditions in the headwaters. Lakes, fens and reedbeds are important freshwater habitats in Wales due to their diversity and habitat quality.


The WBP Freshwater Group is currently identifying priority areas for targeted conservation effort in Wales.The Group has made progress with the Lake BAP priority areas and has produced an overview titled 'Lake BAP Priority Areas in Wales - a strategic overview'

The Freshwater Group draws its membership from a range of statutory, local authority and wildlife charities and is currently chaired by Tristan Hatton-Ellis, Natural Resources Wales.

Do you have a question relating to the work of this group? CONTACT US

Ghost Ponds Project turns the clock back to a more biodiverse future

The Ghost ponds project, an applied research project in eastern England, provides some valuable and cost-effective lessons for restoration of biodiversity by using the seed bank. Many freshwater animals and plants have long-lived, resistant resting stages that can remain viable in the mud at the bottom of ponds and lakes. By cutting back shading vegetation and scraping back recent layers of nutrient-rich mud, the biodiverse seed bank from decades or even centuries ago is revealed, whilst at the same time providing good habitat for species that don’t have resting stages such as amphibians, dragonflies or birds. The project has already had some notable successes including rapid development of beds of stoneworts.

The method even works for ponds that have become completely dried out and filled in, and can now only be seen as faint marks on aerial photos, or on old maps – hence the term ‘ghost ponds’.

For further information see the Ghost Pond project page

Ghost Pond site at Guestwick prior to excavation

Ghost Pond site at Guestwick during excavations stage

Ghost Pond site at Guestwick showing plant colonisation

If you would like to submit a biodiversity-related or ecosystem approach evidence gap to this group please contact us

If your gap could be addressed through research activity/ a specific research project, please visit the Evidence Gaps Project page and click on the link 'Formulating Questions for Scientific Research'

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