WT4: Pond management (less than 100 square metres)

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the pond management – first 100 square metres (sq m) option.

How much will be paid

£103 per pond.

Where to use this option

It is available for Countryside Stewardship Higher Tier:

  • on priority ponds (these are defined on the Freshwater Habitats Trust website)
  • on other ponds with flora and fauna of nature conservation importance, good quality water and natural water levels
  • when the neighbouring land is under a management option that restricts fertilisers, manures and pesticides

Where this option cannot be used

In combination with pond management capital items.

How this option will benefit the environment

It will protect and enhance small ponds of high wildlife value.


You must:

  • manage vegetation in the pond
  • control scrub and invasive non-native plants
  • retain overhanging trees, bushes and deadwood
  • graze or cut the margins of the pond
  • carry out the work within the dates agreed with the adviser
  • maintain clear, unpolluted water
  • maintain the current water regime

The agreement will set out what must not be done. It is likely you will not be allowed to:

  • introduce any plants or animals (including fish and waterfowl) to the pond
  • deepen or change the original profile of the pond
  • infill the pond

Keeping records

You must keep keep the following records and supply them on request:

  • field operations at the parcel level, including associated invoices
  • photographs of the pond

The detailed requirements for this option will be tailored to the Higher Tier site. You should discuss and agree these requirements with your adviser.

You can locate these options and supplements on the same area as this option:

Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this option

The following advice is helpful, but they are not requirements for this item.

To avoid damaging the pond:

  • survey it to check which species are present
  • if the pond contains a protected species, you will need a wildlife licence
  • only manage one section of it at a time
  • keep some of the existing habitat
  • keep some of the leaf litter, logs and woody debris
  • aim to maintain diversity in the pond complex - if there are several ponds on the site, don’t carry out the same management on all of them at the same time

Further information

Read more information about Countryside Stewardship Higher Tier to find out more about the scheme and how to apply.

Published 2 April 2015
Last updated 18 February 2020 + show all updates
  1. This page has been refreshed and updated.

  2. Information updated for applications in 2016

  3. First published.