There are no natural lakes in the area of the Life project. The larger areas of standing water, which also act as spawning grounds for amphibians among other things, are all man made.  Because they are shallow their beds have a high light exposure and so aquatic plants can spread and cover the surface.

Origin and preservation

Some of the ponds in the project area were used as a sort of natural reservoir. Millers used them to control the water flows to their mills. Others used the primarily for fish farming. Some of them are still used today for this purpose. The banks sometimes leaked over the course of the years, while thick deposits of dead plant materials accumulated on the bottom of others - the pond silted up. If old ponds are to be maintained, they must sometimes be repaired or restored. Some of them will be restored as part of the Life project.

Flora and Fauna

From the point of view of animal and fish species, ponds which are not used or only occasionally used for fish breeding have the most abundant range of species.  The range extends from numerous insect larvae to various crayfish species and on to birds. Amphibians also play an important part in this system.  Common toads, pool frogs, tree frogs, agile frogs and crested newts use these pools for mating and as spawning grounds.  The high level of biodiversity is also made possible by the multiplicity of aquatic plants which provide a great deal of habitat differentiation. The larger species of fresh water fish such as the pike and zander occupy the top of the long food chain. Grass snakes represent the reptiles.

Significance for Europe

The remains of the historical water resources management is the most important habitat of the crested newt in the project area. The crested newt is a species which enjoys special protection status across Europe.