Top five wildlife ponds

Bustling ecosystems in their own right, these great ponds are brimming over with wildlife. From the Welsh home of Springwatch to a wetland sanctuary right in the middle of our capital city, here's the Countryfile pick of the ponds:

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1. Ynys-hir, Ceredigion

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Ynys-hir mixes Welsh oak woodland with wet grassland and saltmarshes. The ponds are accessible, and field officers are usually on hand. Home to BBC Springwatch 2012.

2. Hampton Nature Reserve, Peterborough

Home to a complex network of more than 300 ponds, this site is one of the UK’s most important habitats for great crested newts. Booking required.

3. Red Moss of Balerno, near Edinburgh

Situated two miles south of Balerno on the edge of the Pentlands, Red Moss is the only lowland raised bog in the city of Edinburgh. The pond-dipping area has recently been regenerated.

4. Studland beach and nature reserve, Dorset

The reserve contains Little Sea, a freshwater paradise. More than 20 species of dragonfly and damselfly call this place home. Plenty of events and good facilities.

5. WWT London Wetland Centre, Barnes

An urban mecca for thousands of wetland birds, and home to green frogs too, our noisy neighbours from the continent. Excellent accessibility and regular pond-dipping sessions in the spring and summer.

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