To address the decline in endangered great crested newts, planning policy and government legislation is now placing an onus on developers to contribute towards habitat creation and offset projects. In line with these contributions, the Stour Countryside Partnership has been charged with delivering the restoration and creation of ponds within Kent, looking for suitable sites to improve habitats and create strongholds for the fragile great crested newt population
Case Study – Newt Ponds
Loss of habitat and declining water quality has caused a dramatic fall in the great crested newt population.
Selecting suitable areas with potential for great crested newts, restoring poor quality ponds and creating new ponds to provide healthy aquatic habitats. These ponds are then provided with 3m buffers, meaning they are distanced from more intensive agricultural and commercial activities which might impact upon water quality and foraging habitat.
We work alongside the Stour Countryside Partnership providing specialist equipment and skilled labour to restore unmanaged ponds and create new ponds. Works include thinning and coppicing encroaching willow and blackthorn, to improve light levels. The timber and scrub are then stacked into piles, to provide shelter and foraging habitat for wildlife. The leaf litter and silt are then cleared with our excavators and long reaches. Once ponds have been taken back to their original clay bed, new ledges and varying depths are then added to create a more diverse habitat, with depths of at least 2 metres, up to shallow shelves for vegetation to establish.
Once pond restorations are complete, we can then fence the pond edge to provide protected buffers if necessary. Having carried out these works for the past 3 years, we are now starting to see the great crested newts benefit. Our case study farm in Egerton was recently EDNA tested and 4 out of the 6 ponds had great crested newts present. Not only do these ponds benefit the newts, but they also provide habitats for a plethora of other wildlife.
Visit our Pond and Wetland Creation page for further details about the pond creation services we can provide.