Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is encouraging pond-dippers across Scotland to grab their nets and take part in the Big North East Pond Dip.
This ambitious Citizen Science project event will take place until Monday (May 31) and is being organised by the North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership. It will bring together schools, communities, youth groups and individuals to build a picture of the state of ponds, and the plants and animals that they support.
A specially designed recording pack, called Pooling Our Ponds, has been launched to help participants find and identify key species, such as frogs, newts, dragonflies and water boatmen, which can indicate how healthy a pond is.
The North East Scotland Biological Records Centre will then collate the records contributed from the survey to give a better picture of what’s out there.
Rose Toney, the Partnership’s co-ordinator, said: “Ponds are an amazing haven for biodiversity; indeed, as a habitat, they can support more species, as well as more rare, and threatened species, than lakes, rivers, and streams.
“Even small garden ponds can provide an important refuge for a huge variety of wildlife.”
Roger Owen, Head of Ecology at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), and the chair of the Partnership’s Freshwater and Wetland Group, agreed: “Our ponds are really important for wildlife, as places to enjoy and where our children can learn to value their environment while having fun. The project aims to help secure the future of ponds as a resource for everyone.”
For information on the Big North East Pond Dip and how to take part, you can visit the website at www.nesbiodiversity.org.uk/big-north-east-pond-dip