10 June 2011

Newt Farming!

Froglife’s Ponds in the Landscape project has confirmed that farmland and private estates have the potential to be fantastic amphibian habitats, not least for the declining great crested newt.

Froglife has just completed a two year project digging and restoring ponds on sites throughout Cambridgeshire. This has involved improving the connectivity between ponds and strengthening the mosaic of habitats to shore up great crested newt populations across the county. The results were impressive - on one site alone we recorded a whopping 146 newts, making it one of the most important populations in Cambridgeshire!

“This is a really solid piece of conservation work, focussing on landowner liaison and habitat enhancement,” said Paul Furnborough, Conservation Officer. “We’ve been able to engage with new audiences and facilitate conservation on a landscape scale.”

Farmers and landowners, encouraged by a love of wildlife and the financial value great crested newts can bring in the form of Higher Level Stewardship, have undertaken the habitat work supported by Froglife and our partners. The project report takes the form of an advice booklet which is full of practical tips and case studies to advise land managers now the project has come to completion.

A copy of Amphibian Ponds in Farmed Landscapes can be downloaded for free here or you can order a paper copy of the booklet from our Frogalogue.

Building on the success of our landscape scale pond projects we have expanded our Glasgow Living Waters project into North Lanarkshire and we are currently looking at taking this successful model to new geographical areas.

Ponds in the Landscape was funded by Natural England’s Countdown 2010 Biodiversity Action Fund and was delivered in partnership with Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Northampton and Peterborough and the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG).

You can find out more about newts here.

You can find out more about the benefits of Higher Level Stewardship at Natural England’s site here.

You can support our groundbreaking work to improve the outlook for newts here.

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