Sunday, 21 March 2010


First thing Sunday morning:
A big group of people clustered around the 'water feature' on our housing estate, opposite our house.
They have a camera and seem to be filming something on the ground, or in a plastic tub.
Curiosity is peaking.
I get showered and dressed.
Another peek outside and they are still there.
I have to find out what is going on.
I go over to them and apologise for being nosy. They are quite freindly about it and they tell me they are doing a survey on the wild life in the pond.
They have a small tub full of newts which they show me.
These are all Greater Crested Newts.
They group of people are a local amphibian society and they are checking the population of the Greater Crested Newts around the area.
This is a rare and protected species in the UK and they seem to live in our local pond in quite some numbers. Our housing estate is built on what was once a small farm and the farmhouse still exists to one side of the main estate. The pond was I believe a dewpond, which was something, found on farms from ancient times and were used for watering cattle.
When we were looking at out house with the intention of buying, I was told that the completion of the estate had been delayed considerably by planning permission being held up because a local group protested that this was a habitat for the G C Newt and as such could not be disturbed. A survey was done by the developers and the land declared to be free of newts and so the houses were built including our house. Since we moved in we had found newts answering to the description of GC Newts and wondered about the accuracy of the survey. It seems it was not altogether thorough. However, the developers did leave the dewpond where they could have filled it in and built another house. Maybe there was a clause in as much as they could build so long as they left a place for the newts. Whatever the case they seem to have survived.


  1. Well, you challenged me on this one -- I didn't know anything about a Greater Crested Newt. So I headed to Wikipedia
    and discovered the things that are an offence to a GCN - quite a list. Those housing developers could have been in a lot of trouble!

  2. Yes, but things in nature also have a great capacity for adapting -- as do we humans thank goodness.