The FHT have identified 100 sites nationally – across England and Wales – which support the very most important ponds or groups of ponds for freshwater biodiversity – to help local groups ensure the long-term maintenance of the ponds and associated wetlands as special places for freshwater wildlife.
Rawcliffe fits the bill because of the Tansy Beetle, and other special species (like the Tubular Water-dropwort and some of the uncommon water beetles the site supports). The aim of the project is to help local groups by:
- Providing baseline biotic or water quality surveys
- Training local volunteers or professionals in species identification and management
- Giving support to develop a simple management plan for freshwater biodiversity – if the site doesn’t already have this
- Establishing and training people in use of an early warning system – which can alert you to any problems that are developing
- Funding key pond management or pond creation activities to support critical species
- Developing local community activities to support sites e.g. captive breeding/cultivation programs for endangered animals and plants with local groups or schools
- Links to local experts to provide long term support
The FHT are expecting to spend the first three months of 2015 preparing and planning for the Flagship Ponds project.