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Protecting great crested newts

June 22, 2015 11:00 AM
By Epsom & Ewell Local Committee in Surrey County Council website

Bench for newts pond (Lower Mole Countryside Trust)Lower Mole Countryside Trust sought funding to create a dog free area to protect great crested newts.

Field Pond in Horton Country Park is home to a population of the European protected species, the great crested newt. Unfortunately they are under threat due to disturbance from dogs so a wooden post and rail fence, with netting, has now been erected to create a dog free area, gates have also been installed to allow the continuation of public access for the quiet enjoyment of the pond. Overhanging vegetation has been cleared back to allow in more light which has improved the pond for the newts. A bench has also been installed beside the pond.

This work ensures that the population of great crested newts can thrive without frequent disturbance from dogs entering the pond, which also makes the water turbid, reducing the invertebrate species in the pond.

A total of 301 volunteer hours carried out by Lower Mole Project volunteers were spent installing the fence and gates, and also making and installing the bench.

Any future maintenance of the fence which is required will be done by Epsom and Ewell Borough Council who will also meet the costs involved.

Councillor Stella Lallement provided £1,561 from her Members' Allocations allowance towards the cost of creating this safe haven for newts where the general public can enjoy a pond with thriving wildlife.