Garden ponds and the law

If you own a pond or are planning to construct one there are a number of laws which you should bear in mind and this article looks at the main ones.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

Certain animals are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. These include the following:

  • The Common Frog;

  • The Common Toad;

  • The Natterjack Toad;

  • Some species of Newts;

  • Burbot;

  • Atlantic Stream Crayfish;

  • Some species of Goby;

  • Northern Hatchet Shell;

  • Marine Hydroid;

  • Trembling Sea Mat;

  • Some species of Snails.

 

Where an animal is protected under the Act, subject to certain exceptions, it is a criminal offence to intentionally kill, injure or take the animal in question and this is something which you should bear in mind particularly if you intend to move species between ponds or wish to fill in a pond.

It is also a criminal offence, under the Act, again subject to certain exceptions, to intentionally or recklessly:

    damage or destroy any structure or place which an animal, which is protected under the Act, uses for shelter or protection; or to disturb any such animal while it is occupying a structure or place which it uses for shelter or protection; or to obstruct access to any structure or place which any such animal uses for shelter or protection.

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For more information on:

  • The Abandonment of Animals Act 1960
  • Hosepipe bans
  • Safety issues
  • Escape of water