Water vole Arvicola terrestris, sitting on rock near to water, Derbyshire, England, March

Water is a crucial element for wildlife. With the right management wet habitats can provide some of the most wildlife-rich areas on farmland.

Valuable pollinators like hoverflies need aquatic habitats to complete their lifecycle, as do beneficial insect predators. The vast numbers of insects produced by wet habitats are also a crucial food source for bats and birds on farmland.

For wet habitats to achieve the highest possible value for wildlife they need to be considered throughout all farm activities. It is vital to minimise the amount of soil matter, fertilisers and pesticides reaching water bodies as they have a severe impact on water quality.

The best wet habitats have clear water that is low in nutrients and free of pollution, allowing typical wetland aquatic plants to thrive.

Choose a habitat type for expert advice on how to achieve the most from it.