Great Crested Newt (GCN) numbers have declined steadily since the 20th Century, mainly due to the loss of breeding pond. 50% of ponds have been lost due to intensive farming and succession via them silting up.
GCN need fish-free ponds of 100m2 upwards and a minimum depth of 1.5m, areas of submerged and marginal vegetation and also areas of open water for their courting displays. Many ponds with this criteria and suitability for GCN have been lost.
Now, Medway Valley Countryside Partnership are one of the teams in Kent appointed by Natural England as the Habitat Delivery Body to create and restore ponds to boost GCN habitat and numbers as part of the District Level Licensing Scheme.
Natural England developed this strategy as an alternative to the standard GCN licensing route. Under this new scheme developers make a conservation payment and these funds cover pond restoration and creation projects across large areas.
Using guidelines from Natural England, Medway Valley Countryside Partnership are working with landowners in ‘Strategic Opportunity Areas’ to restore and create clusters of ponds to benefit GCN and wildlife in general.
Post pond work monitoring has revealed that GCN have found and began using many of the new and restored ponds. Since 2018, with sister partnerships in Kent, dozens of ponds have been created and restored with many more planned for 2021 and onwards.
If you have a pond in need of restoration and/or are interested in having one created, please contact us on 03000 414795 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find out more about the District Level Licensing Scheme here.
Read the latest Natural England Pond Monitoring Blog.