On the 12th January 2021, NPP committee members Helen Greaves and Carl Sayer from UCL, joined forces with the Suffolk Ponds Group to provide a webinar to look at the lowland farm pond and its value for wildlife. The webinar can be watched here.
Hosted by the Suffolk Ponds Group, with support from Natural England Catchment Sensitive Farming and the Norfolk Ponds Project, this webinar was aimed at farmers, landowners, environmental professionals & interested members of the public.
The evening brought together a panel of expert speakers, all directly involved in pond management, restoration and research, to explore both the ‘how to’ as well as the ‘why’ of pond management for wildlife in farmland.
Suffolk and Norfolk combined have some 50,000 ponds, most on farmland, and very many are in a neglected state. Carl Sayer of University College London outlined some of the latest research in pond restoration from Norfolk. Helen Greaves from UCL and the Norfolk Ponds Project talked about the importance of collaboration between conservationists, farmers, and researchers. Juliet Hawkins, a pond adviser, outlined top points to consider when planning restorations, and Richard Symes, Suffolk farmer spoke about the importance of ponds and wildlife and showed some highlights from his farm.
Juliet Hawkins: Pond conservation expert with some 30+ years of experience, Juliet has worked independently and for conservation organisations such as the Suffolk Wildlife Trust in her pond conservation career and has several high wildlife value ponds on her own farm.
Helen Greaves: Secretary of the European Pond Conservation Network, PhD researcher at University College London and Secretary of the Norfolk Ponds Project
Professor Carl Sayer: freshwater ecologist and lecturer in freshwater science at University College London.
Richard Symes: Earlsway Farm Bramfield, farmer of some 160ha with 17 ponds, custodian of wildlife and rare stoneworts.
Sam Hanks: Suffolk Wildlife Trust farmland wildlife adviser and host of the webinar.