Praised pond life needs our care and attention

The North Blackpool Pond Trail held a Save the Frogs day at Linden Pond in Bispham. Pauline Taylor helps eight-year-old Daisy Harakis in her hunt for frogs.

The North Blackpool Pond Trail held a Save the Frogs day at Linden Pond in Bispham. Pauline Taylor helps eight-year-old Daisy Harakis in her hunt for frogs.

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FIVE of Blackpool’s ponds have been named among the best in the country.

And, according to a survey by a specialist freshwater ecologist, it is Linden Pond in Bispham which has taken the number one spot for the Fylde coast.

Pauline Taylor, North Blackpool Pond Trail community development officer, said: “It’s really exciting because we have got so many ponds which are nationally valued.

“Linden Pond is lovely. It has got everything going for it plant-wise and has a great range of mini-beasts.”

Dr Naomi Ewald, a freshwater ecologist, carried out a survey of the Fylde coast’s 21 ponds as part of a national study.

Fourteen of them came out as priority ponds, which means they are recognised for conservation and biological importance.

And the habitats named in the country’s top 10 per cent were Linden Pond, Ashfield Road pond, Kincraig Lake, and a couple of ponds at Carleton Crematorium.

The survey uncovered 86 wetland plant species and 108 minibeast species, including nationally scarce beetles and aquatic insects which are locally scarce.

Dr Ewald said: “Wandering round the various priority ponds, ranked among the best in the country, was a joy.

“It’s easy to write off ponds in urban areas because many of them are severely degraded, but this area demonstrates how gems can persist despite the pressures.”

North Blackpool Pond Trail is a partnership between BEAT Naturewatch, Groundwork and Blackpool Council. It is funded by Access To Nature, a scheme run by Natural England and funded by the Big Lottery Fund and United Futures.

Since its launch in spring last year, work has been under way to improve wetland sites and improve access, by creating a network of paths to join up the habitats already present.

Now the team behind the trail are urging residents to respect the gems they have on their doorstep.

They held activities at Linden Pond at the weekend to mark Save the Frogs Day.

Pauline added: “The children enjoyed finding the frogs and looking at them in the nets. They also got to hold them. They were surprised at the different colours from the common frog. They have been in decline recently, but if people have their garden ponds for wildlife, that helps.

“Frogs are very important. We only have six species of amphibians in the country so we need to protect them.

“People should appreciate what they have got on their doorstep.

“We have had people fly tipping at the ponds, dumping things like fridges, which is a major problem.

“We need to protect our ponds and stop littering and fly tipping.”