Yes, as the snow season madness begins, I’m beginning to get e-mails sent to me from Health & Safety people warning me of the ‘severe wintry weather conditions’ (the environmental phenomenon formerly known as ‘winter’).
Clearly its sensible not to go outdoors, not to drive unless you have a 4 x 4 or a tank, and to carry a pick axe at all times.
People will be worrying about their ponds freezing over, and in last years big freeze a lot of people reported dead amphibians.
Remember it’s not the ice that causes the trouble because light can penetrate ice, allowing photosynthesis to generate oxygen under the water. Snow on the other hand cuts out light and can lead to ponds quickly having low dissolved oxygen levels.
So it’s a probably not a bad idea to brush snow off the ice (remembering not to fall through the ice while brushing).
But if your pond is already oxygen stressed, this may still not make much difference.
It needs roughly seven days of zero oxygen to start killing frogs – so much depends on how long the ice cover lasts, and whether there is snow fall as well.