Wolds ponds revived by new project

Emily McGregor, Wolds Dew Pond Project officer at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, stands next to a dew pond earmarked for restoration. Picture courtesy of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.
Emily McGregor, Wolds Dew Pond Project officer at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, stands next to a dew pond earmarked for restoration. Picture courtesy of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

A threatened, once distinctive, and important feature of the Yorkshire Wolds landscape is set to be revived.

An ambitious new project, led by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT), is set to restore a network of historic dew ponds.

The dew ponds were created predominantly in the 18th and 19th Centuries to provide crucial water for livestock in the dry landscape of the High Wolds.

While few are actually used by livestock today, they are a haven for wildlife and an important historic feature of the landscape.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, over the next two years the Wolds Water project will see the trust working with local farmers.

The YWT will also be working with Driffield Agricultural Society to create a demonstration pond at Driffield Showground to showcase the history and wildlife of such ponds to tens of thousands of visitors.

The project will train volunteers in pond restoration and surveying and species identification to develop a strong skill base within the local community to subsequently manage and maintain the restored ponds.

Emily McGregor, Wolds Dew Pond project officer at the YWT, said: “We want to reconnect people with the history and wildlife of dew ponds so that these features once again become a core part of the culture and landscape of the Wolds.”