Swan Meadow Pond

We have received a number of queries about the current appearance of the pond at Swan Meadow in Saffron Walden. We hope the following information will be of some reassurance.

The pond is fed from underground springs further up the watercourse which keeps the water fresh. Over the last 18 months or so, the Saffron Walden area has had very little rainfall compared to previous years and so the pond has become more dried out than it has in the past.

It is a common concern that drying out of a pond is always disastrous for wildlife - however, as drought is a natural occurrence, many species are able to adapt and even benefit from it. The only problem is that drying out ponds may not look quite as pretty as when they are at higher levels.

In general, if the drying out is due only to the weather (as is the case at Swan Meadow) the pond will refill with the autumn and winter rains, if not sooner.

We have also received some comments about the presence of rats. The traditional treatment of rats is impracticable as the pond is also home to a resident population of voles. Rats are attracted to both water and sources of food so the best way to keep the rat population down is to avoid overfeeding the other wildlife.

5 June 2019