A new book written by two members of an Oxford charity will highlight the importance of ponds for our environment.

Ponds, Pools and Puddles, the latest in the Collins New Naturalist series, authored by Freshwater Habitats Trust's CEO Jeremy Biggs and technical director Penny Williams, is set to be released in April.

The publication, collating the latest scientific research, emphasises the value of ponds in Earth's ecosystem, championing their biodiversity above larger freshwater habitats such as rivers and lakes.

Oxford Mail: Ponds, Pools and PuddlesPonds, Pools and Puddles (Image: Freshwater Habitats Trust)

The authors debunk myths asserting that ponds are solely human-made features.

They take the reader on a journey from the formation of the earliest ponds, billions of years ago when the first rains fell, to the present day challenge of creating and managing ponds to tackle the biodiversity crisis.

Jeremy Biggs and Penny Williams have spent more than 35 years studying ponds and communicating their importance for freshwater wildlife.

Oxford Mail: Jeremy BiggsJeremy Biggs (Image: Jill Mead)

Professor Jeremy Biggs said: "Simply because they are small, ponds have been largely ignored by scientists and policymakers for over a century.

"They’re generally dismissed as ornamental features in gardens, rather being understood as a vital part of the freshwater environment.

"This book challenges that bias and lays out a growing body of evidence that reveals just how important these habitats are for freshwater plants and animals.

“We’ve recently seen a surge of public interest in the state of our rivers, but what about the rest of the freshwater environment?

"If we really want to reverse the decline in freshwater biodiversity, we can no longer ignore the smallest habitats in the freshwater environment.”

Oxford Mail: Penny WilliamsPenny Williams (Image: Freshwater Habitats Trust)

Penny Williams added: "When they hear the word ‘pond’ most people will think of a garden pond, but these small waterbodies have been a natural feature of the Earth for billions of years.

"Freshwater plants and animals have evolved to use different types of ponds for millennia.

"In fact, Darwin famously mused that life may have originated in ‘some warm little pond.

Oxford Mail: A natural pond in the Lake DistrictA natural pond in the Lake District (Image: Freshwater Habitats Trust/ Jeremy Biggs)

“In Ponds, Pools and Puddles we tell the remarkable natural history of these waterbodies, and their role today as a critical refuge for plants and animals.

"We bring together evidence, including our own research from Freshwater Habitats Trust, that shows the vital role ponds play in supporting freshwater species.

"We also share what we the ponds of the past can teach us as we create new clean water ponds to reverse the decline in freshwater biodiversity.”

The book gives a detailed catalogue of the various species that rely on these crucial habitats, including plants, invertebrates, amphibians, fish, birds, and mammals.