Ponds – Ecology, Conservation & Improvement

Many of us have ponds in our gardens but we would like to know more about why they are so important to the surrounding ecosystems and how we can make them more productive for the species living in and around them. This course answers many of these questions. We will first discuss the basic ecology and conservation of ponds in general. Using the natural habitat at the Bay Pond Educational Nature Reserve, we will pond dip to see what lives in the water and review the species surrounding it. Taking this information we will discuss how to improve a garden pond to enhance its suitability for wildlife and nature.

You will take with you a comprehensive understanding of the importance that ponds have to the survival of a host of native plants, animals and insects.

Tutor – Paul Ritchie

As a chartered biologist with over 20 years of experience as a countryside manager looking after nature reserves and commons Paul is well placed to deliver training in ecology and practical conservation management. He has held roles training employees and volunteers for the Metropolitan Police, City of London and now Surrey Wildlife Trust.
Turning back the clock Paul started working on the land as a farm labourer on a mixed arable and livestock farm in the Chiltern Hills. He went on to study zoology at the University of Nottingham (studying ants in Edale, African carnivores and tapeworms!) whilst volunteering for organisations conserving canals and waterways.

As a police officer Paul undertook a variety of roles in Harringey, Highbury and Central London, which included training new recruits, community engagement and rescuing wildlife (a degree in zoology is invaluable for this!). During his spare time Paul helped out in the London Wildlife Trust education centre at Railway Fields.

After studying ecology and conservation at Birbeck College (University of London) Paul had a second 20-year career in parks, gardens and open spaces with City of London. He helped to establish the community woodland project at Ashtead Common NNR; trained and assessed apprentices; and worked closely with volunteer and community groups.

Paul is now the Community Learning Coordinator for Surrey Wildlife Trust working with his colleagues and external tutors to plan and deliver a wide range of scientific and practical courses for adults. Paul has complemented his prior experience as an associate lecturer for the University of Surrey by recently completing a PTLLS course (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long learning sector).

How to Apply


Please mention ConservationJobs.co.uk when enrolling in this Course!

Key Information

Start date:

24th July 2018 at 10:00am


members £35, non-members £47


Surrey Wildlife Trust




Biodiversity, Ecology, Nature & Wildlife


Bay Pond Educational Nature Reserve, United Kingdom

Location Map