For the purposes of the Durham BAP a pond is defined as any permanent or seasonal water body up to 2ha in surface area, which holds water either seasonally or permanently. Newly created ponds are counted as Durham BAP ponds, but will be subject to a condition assessment.
Some of these Durham BAP ponds which support rare or threatened species or contain a high diversity of wildlife can also be classed as having higher wildlife value, if they fit in with one or more of the following criteria;
- Provide habitats of international importance: Ponds that meet criteria under Annex I of the Habitats Directive.
- Support species of high conservation importance (Red Data Book species, UK BAP species, Durham BAP priority species, species fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act Schedule 5 and 8, Habitats Directive Annex II species, Regionally Rare and Scarce wetland plant species and Nationally Scarce aquatic invertebrate species.
- Ponds of high ecological quality: Ponds classified in the fair or above PSYM category for ecological quality (i.e. having a PSYM score 51% or above).
The limit of a pond is defined as the winter high water mark.