Bateman's revitalised ponds

A restored pond at Bateman's in East Sussex

Nestled in a tranquil valley in the beautiful Sussex Weald, Bateman's estate covers over 300 acres and has a wealth of different habitats for the wildlife of the area. Among these are several ponds and the team at Bateman's have been putting in some hard work to revitalise these to open the area up to their visitors.

Bateman's ponds

Out in the 300 acre estate at Bateman's we have some diverse habitats for our wildlife including three ponds. These ponds are spread across the whole width of the site.

In recent years these ponds have become overgrown and were in need of some heavy work to refresh them and bring them back to life to create a habitat that would attract rare amphibians as well as many varieties of dragonflies and damselflies.

Why choose these ponds?

Our ranger, Kevan Gibbons, loves to get out and about across the estate and he's keen to protect the rare species that we have and encourage colonisation by new species.

Kevan is particularly excited by this project. The ponds that are being worked on are all adjacent to ponds with existing Great Crested Newt populations. The work will increase the potential for the populations to expand their territories.

" All the ponds were silting up and becoming less and less suitable for a wide range of wildlife."
- Kevan Gibbons, Bateman's Ranger
A pond at Bateman's in East Sussex before the restoration work began

Additionally, these ponds are close/next to public access routes on the estate so all visitors will be able to enjoy the enhancement work.

What work have you carried out?

The work was carried out during last summer and autumn. It involved a diverse team of contractors from digger operators to tree surgeons and fencers.

There was plenty to be done. We removed silt from the clogged-up ponds, felled trees to allow light/warmth onto the ponds and reconfigured the shape of them.

Mechanical diggers working on the restoration of a pond at Bateman's in East Sussex

What's planned for the future?

The work that we've carried out will increase light levels on the ponds and this will increase the amount of vegetation. As this gets established it will improve the habitat for dragon- and damselflies, a wide range of amphibians such as the Great Crested Newt and some toads. In fact, we are hoping that a huge variety of water-loving wildlife will be drawn to these revitalised sites.

Once we're happy that the wildlife is settled and thriving, we'll be developing a new self-led trail for our visitors to help them explore these interesting areas and explain what they can see.