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Issue 42 August '13

Wednesday 28th August 2013

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Projects

West Wight Ponds Project
Part of "Round 1"

Grantee - Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

Award - £13,700

As part of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust's commitment to the International Year of Biodiversity, it is launching a new project to promote ponds on the Isle of Wight.

A survey carried out by Kitbridge Enterprises Trust in 2006 indicated that the Island lost 60% of its ponds between 1900 and 1960 (slightly less than the mainland average), due mainly to changes in agricultural practices. However, during the past 30 years, new ponds that have been created on farms and garden ponds have played a vital role in protecting pond life, especially amphibians such as frogs, toads and newts.

Our recent frogs and toads survey indicated that toads were less common than we thought they would be and that frogs were thriving in garden ponds. Wildlife-rich farm ponds are usually found in close proximity to other semi-natural habitats such as species-rich grassland, old hedgerows, heathland and woodland. As the island has retained a relatively good network of these habitats there are potentially many wildlife-rich ponds to be discovered.

Initially focussing on the unique landscape of the West Wight, this partnership project aims to create a definitive map of wildlife-rich ponds. The Wildlife Trust will be working with volunteers and IW Pond Wardens to survey pond wildlife, restore habitats and create new ponds. The project will also offer advice and help with grants and practical work to farmers and landowners who wish to manage their ponds for wildlife or create new ponds.

One of the key groups of species that the project would like to gather information about is newts. Although we have some data relating to great crested newts we would like to find out how widespread all newts are. We can then use this information to help target restoration and creation of new ponds to areas which would encourage newts to spread throughout the countryside. An on-line survey will be on the Wildlife Trust's website http://www.hwt.org.uk/ for any records during 2010.

For more information please contact the project officer Nicola Wheeler on 01983 533180 or e-mail nicolaw@hwt.org.uk


 

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