About Crested Newts (Part 2)
Flexible Lining Products - About Crested Newts
Grazing, like mowing, can also control scrub growth and is less likely to damage newts sheltering in the grass. Advice on the most appropriate management of grasslands should be sought, but aim to create an uneven grassland structure and fence off ponds if livestock are likely to damage the margins. Avoid over grazing.
Scrub clearance or the cutting back of over-hanging trees should avoid disturbance to the pond and other species, such as nesting birds. Only cut a few trees in any one year.
Terrestrial litter, such as dumped rubble, might be used as a refuge, especially during the winter. Consider making these eyesores more attractive, but leave them in place if possible!
Creating new ponds
Great crested newts will regularly colonise new ponds, provided the location and conditions are suitable. If the terrestrial habitat allows, creating new ponds next to old ones may be preferable to restoration work. Advice on pond construction, including liners, should be sought; all contractors should be informed of the legal obligations and the following guidelines:
New ponds should be sited in an area the collects water naturally, or near a suitable supply, but damage to existing areas valuable to wildlife should be avoided.
The size and shape of the pond should take into consideration the points raised in the section on ideal habitats, including sloped sides and an open aspect to the south. Several small ponds, each within 500m of the next, are preferable to one large one, providing they are linked by suitable habitat; a variety of ponds, including temporary, sunny and partially shaded is ideal.
Woodland edge, scrub or hedgerows within 50m of the pond will provide hibernation sites.
Areas subject to pollution, agricultural or road run-off are not suitable. Where proposed sites are near roads or developments, newt-proof fencing might be required, increasing costs substantially.
Access to the pond should be considered, as disturbance to habitats or the introduction of fish will be problematic.
The planting of aquatic and emergent vegetation will help the colonisation of new ponds in gardens. The list of plants for an ideal pond is a good starting point, but plants occurring naturally in the vicinity of the new pond are recommended. It is best to avoid introducing plants, into new ponds on commons, farmland and in villages, but tip in a few buckets of water from a nearby pond. Never introduce fish or wildfowl.
The colonisation of a new pond by invertebrates can be encouraged by using a couple of buckets of water from existing local ponds, or spreading a thin layer of top soil (I spadeful per 4m2) in the base of the new pond.
The habitat around the pond should be a mosaic of grass and scrub and can be created by planting scattered scrub, or opening up areas covered with scrub, as required. At least one hectare of suitable habitat should be within 200m of the pond, preferably adjacent to it. Shelters can be created from piles of stones or logs, with some including frost-free shelter for hibernation.
The above has been published with the kind permission from
Norfolk Wildlife Trust
22 Bewick House
Tel: 01603 625540
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