Information on Blackheath's four ponds
Blackheath's four ponds have great potential value to wildlife. Three of these, Hare and Billet pond, Mounts pond and the Prince of Wales pond, are on the Lewisham side of the Heath. These three ponds together constitute a substantial proportion of the borough's still water habitat. Historically the ponds would have been valuable watering holes for animals, such as coach horses and cattle being driven along the Dover Road.
Hare and Billet pond
Hare and Billet pond is the most natural-looking of the ponds, and probably the best for wildlife. Fringed with trees, it has gently sloping edges, with a good variety of marginal vegetation, much of which was planted after de-silting in early 1994. The pond is a lovely sight in early summer, with the pink flowers of flowering-rush and the deep yellow ones of greater spearwort forming a blaze of colour. With a little more searching, the blue of water forget-me-not and the mauve of water mint can also be seen, and less showy species include common spike-rush, soft-rush, hard rush and greater pond-sedge.
Prince of Wales pond
Prince of Wales pond is more or less square and has steep concrete sides, preventing the establishment of marginal vegetation, nevertheless the pond is not without nature conservation interest, with a variety of submerged plants including spiked water-milfoil, curled pondweed and Canadian waterweed, and a fauna which includes sticklebacks and a good diversity of invertebrates. It is very popular with model boat enthusiasts
Mounts pond is only seasonally wet and the tendency of the pond to dry out in summer can be viewed either as a problem or as an asset; seasonal ponds are an important habitat on heathlands, supporting a very distinctive range of animals and plants, including such rarities as the natterjack toad, which was found on Blackheath in past centuries.