OPAL Water research – monitoring ponds and lakes

Help monitor and protect our lakes and ponds

OPAL Water sites

We want everyone to become interested in the aquatic world, and have the skills to observe changes in water quality by identifying key plants and animals.

Protecting a nature oasis
Ponds and pools are often found in shared spaces such as parks. They can be oases of biodiversity in otherwise ecologically poor areas and are important for human and environmental wellbeing.

However, they are often struggling with problems such as water pollution and nutrient enrichment, and may also be poorly managed.

As well as running the OPAL Water Survey and the Metals Survey, from 2008 to 2012 we led two research projects to learn more about lakes and ponds in England and to help in their conservation:


The lakes and ponds we monitored

Map showing lakes and ponds being monitored

East of England:

East Midlands:


North East:

North West:

South East:

South West:

West Midlands:

Yorkshire and Humber:

Holt Hall Lake, Holt

Thoresby Lake, near Mansfield

Wake Valley Pond, Epping Forest

Crag Lough, near Haltwhistle

Marton Mere, Blackpool

Fleet Pond, Fleet

Slapton Ley, Slapton

Edgbaston Pool, Birmingham

Chapman's Pond, York


Read our final report

A lakeExplore the results of our pioneering four-year study of English lakes and download the full report.

Water research results


Water Survey – join in now!

Pond skaterHow healthy is your local pond? Join in the OPAL Water Survey and help us learn more about pond health.

OPAL Water Survey



Policy and regulation
If you are interested in learning more about government policy on water quality then please visit:


OPAL Water was led by University College London