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East Dean & Friston Residents' Association

Your voice as local residents

Ponds and pondlife

In April 2024 the Environment Group carried out a rapid survey of the types and distribution of garden ponds within East Dean and Friston to see (a) how many ponds there are and their sizes, (b) their distribution across the parish and potential wildlife connectivity, and (c) how many are at least moderately wildlife-friendly.  The main results are given below.

There was a response rate of around 25% with 80 respondents covering 117 properties. A total of 74 ponds were recorded scattered across the parish from Gayles and Crowlink to the Downlands Estate and East Dean.

Of the 74 ponds recorded, 47 were medium or large (1 sq metre or more) and 36 ponds had breeding amphibians in them, almost 50% of the total. Over a third of ponds could be considered ‘wildlife friendly’ with water plants, marginal vegetation and shelter nearby.

In summary, there are a good number of garden ponds across the parish, with no larger residential areas lacking them. Their distribution also suggests potentially good wildlife connectivity. We appear to have healthy amphibian populations, especially of newts and toads.

As many residents expressed an interest in finding out more about wildlife ponds and their maintenance, the Environment Group will think of appropriate projects and talks in the following months.

Although the main survey period has finished, additional records of ponds within the parish or of properties without a pond are still most welcome. These will be added to the existing records to give a better picture of pond distribution. The questionnaire form is available at EDF pond survey; if you have more than one pond, please fill in a separate sheet for each. Please return completed forms to Jonathan Timberlake at the RA Environment Group edfraecocare@gmail.com.