Ponds and hedges come out worst in countryside survey

| 25th September 2009
A pond
The number of plant species found in the majority of ponds is low
Two quintessential parts of the English countryside, the pond and the hedgerow, are in need of more attention

Almost 80 per cent of ponds in England are in poor condition, according to a government survey released this week.

Defra's countryside audit, carried out during 2007, found just seven species of plant in the average pond.

This compared to the 20 or more species that were found in good quality ponds, of which there were just 9 per cent in the country.

The survey also reported a worrying decline in the state of hedgerows. The total length of managed hedgerows fell by 6 per cent between 1998 and 2007.

Many of these hedges had turned into lines of trees or relict hedges.

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