British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards

British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards

Rivers, Streams, Ponds and Wetland Areas

Rivers, Streams, Ponds and Wetland Areas

If your park has a river, pond, lake or wetland area, you are blessed with a valuable wildlife resource. Please manage it to maximise its wildlife value by keeping it free of litter and other pollutants, making sure it does not get choked with invasive plant species and providing animals with every opportunity to feed and breed. It is a great idea to ensure that significant sections of river and pond banks are left wild with only occasional access points for humans (created by cutting back vegetation). You can also think about creating artificial breeding areas (nesting boxes and otter holts etc) to encourage wildlife to make a home. Many people come to parks with rivers and lakes to fish, so enlist the help of any anglers to keep your waterways in the best of health.

If you have a pond make sure that animals can get in and out easily by providing ‘escape routes’. You should also make sure that there are stones for newts to hibernate under, that autumn leaves are removed, and that any ice is broken in the winter to let oxygen in. If you are building a new pond, then the best pond profile for wildlife is a shallow saucer shape with gently shelving sides. Put in a good mixture of appropriate aquatic plants (oxygenators such as Hornwort are particularly important). Many parks report health and safety concerns about water features, so please implement sensible signage and fencing to keep your insurers happy and your guests safe.

More information:

  • Click here for an in depth article on boosting biodiversity on your park, complete with examples of what parks are doing
  • Click here for an in depth article on how to create and manage ponds