Friday, 23 July 2010

New Newt Ponds in Herefordshire

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation is delighted to provide funding towards Herefordshire Amphibian and Reptile Team’s (HART) pond creation project in Brockhall Quarry. The location, in Stretton Sugwas, Herefordshire, is a former sand and gravel quarry, on Duchy of Cornwall land, which has been restored as a site for wildlife. Great crested newts are already present, but in a pond that is being overgrown with bulrushes and which may eventually dry out through succession. HART’s project has created three new ponds nearby, to increase the extent and quality of breeding habitat for this Biodiversity Action Plan species.

Will Watson, HART’s project leader, said ‘We’ve taken care to create ideal wildlife ponds. We’ve put in three ponds, rather than a single one, as pond clusters offer greater scope for wildlife. There are two large ponds and a smaller one. They all have gently sloping sides and irregular shapes, to maximise the number of aquatic microhabitats. We have even been able to install dragonfly basking beaches, using pea gravel from the former quarry workings. We will continue to monitor the site in future to check on the newts, but we fully expect them to colonise the new ponds.’

John Baker of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation added, ‘This is a great example of partnership working. Herefordshire Amphibian and Reptile Team has worked with the Duchy of Cornwall to produce a model amphibian conservation project. The Duchy of Cornwall has financially supported the project, but the pond creation funds have been topped up by Amphibian and Reptile Conservation’s Great Crested Newt Conservation fund and the Amphibian and Reptile Groups of the UK’s 100% Fund.’

Guidance and an application form for Amphibian and Reptile Conservation’s Great Crested Newt Conservation Grants are available on the ARC website.

For further information about ARG UK go to

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