Pond Dipping

Timing: 30 mins +
Age range: Recommended ages 6+

Available Sites: Bedfont Lakes Country Park


To find, identify and observe the creatures that live in a freshwater pond habitat, using scientific equipment.

Activity Description

Bedfont Lakes DragonflyThis activity will take place at the site’s dipping pond, which has a purpose built platform.

After a demonstration and health and safety talk from the ranger, in groups, the pupils use scientific nets to sample areas of the pond and place creatures into a water-filled tray. The pupils observe the animals they have caught and identify them using a FSC illustrated key. Plastic spoons are usually used to hold creatures for closer inspection. Magnifying glasses can be provided to groups (please request when booking).

Children are asked to consider and discuss identification, movement, adaptations and lifecycles. The ranger will offer guidance and further information to the pupils as they carry out the activity.

Worksheets relating to this activity can be found at the bottom of this page. If you wish to use worksheets please bring copies and pencils for your group with you and advise the ranger of your intentions so he/she can introduce the activity correctly.

Should you have a specific subject area that you would like to focus on (e.g. habitats/adaptation/food chains) let us know and the ranger will relate to these areas while teaching.

National Curriculum POS Links

  • SC1 - Scientific Enquiry (when carried out as part of an investigation with worksheets)
  • SC2 - Life processes and Living Things

Bedfont Lakes - pond dippingLearning Objectives

Most children will be able to:

  • Name and identify a few different species that live in the pond using a simple picture key
  • Describe something about their life processes (e.g. how they move/how they feed)

Some children will be able to:

  • Identify species using a key
  • Explain how the animal is adapted to living in its environment
  • Understand the life cycles of certain animals found in the pond
  • Explain how different animals are found in different zones within the pond


Click here for Help with PDF files.

Related Activities


Follow up

  • Present data collected as graphs/charts/a poster back in the classroom
  • Compare pond creatures found with those found in your school pond.
  • Watch tadpoles turning into frogs or learn about other life cycles.

Health and Safety

Teachers/leaders should consider the following when you write your risk assessment and during supervision:

  • Risk of pupils falling into shallow pond: You may wish to bring a spare change of clothing
  • Risk of bacterial infection from water (e.g. Weils Disease): We recommend that you bring antibacterial hand gel or wipes and ensure that children wash their hands immediately after the activity. Should children have open cuts on their hands they should avoid getting their hands wet during the activity (or wear gloves).
  • Injury caused by improper use of nets
  • Injury caused by running/slipping on the wet platform

For more information on Heath and Safety during group visits please see here

If you haven't found what you are looking for please visit the following websites: