Water - beneath, on and around
Take a dollop of water (running or still, but preferably clean) and soon freshwater plants and animals will start to colonise – algae, water plants, water bugs, water beetles, mayflies, dragonflies etc. Even water snails can appear quite quickly by hitching a lift on birds' feet.
Great Diving Beetle (Dytiscus marginalis) are one of the UK's largest beetles and can be found in standing or slow-flowing water throughout the conurbation. They are present in the pools at Park Hall, Wren's Nest and Fens Pools Nature Reserves and also inhabit many of the canals of Birmingham and the Black Country.
White-clawed Crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) is the UK's only native crayfish species and is the largest and most mobile of the freshwater invertebrates.
The white-clawed crayfish is protected by law in the UK and are usually found in sheltered rivers, streams and canals with high water quality.
In Birmingham and the Black Country they can be found mainly in Sutton Park and Plants Brook.
Here in Birmingham and the Black Country we have a wide range of water bodies, in particular canals (approx 209 km) and ponds (approx 1030, not including garden ponds) and also lakes and being situated at the watershed of England, some rivers and their tributaries.
Some of these waterbodies have been extensively surveyed but little is known about the creatures living in the vast majority of them.
Could some of these ponds be of a quality to be classified as "Priority Habititats", thus providing a focus for conservation?
Are the waterbodies being managed to ensure that biodiversity is conserved and enhanced?
These are questions we need to answer to ensure that aquatic ecosystems are adequately protected and cherished.
EcoRecord has extensive records of aquatic invertebrates and wetland plants and is now part of an ambitious project to map existing information and provide a structure for future surveys, conservation and habitat creation.
Please do join us in any way you can, from surveying your local stream or pond to entering data or coming to Pond Action Group meetings with your ideas.
Dr Ellen Pisolkar