The ponds in the gardens of remembrance were looking rather sad and run down – they leaked constantly, the paving was disintegrating, and the planting was badly overgrown.
So we put a plan in place to refurbish two of the four ponds. Our dedicated team of grounds maintenance operatives worked with Guy Belcher, the city council’s conservation officer, and with the local amphibian volunteer group.
The project had to be carefully planned so as not to disturb our population of great crested newts and smooth newts. We built a new newt habitat for them relocate to during the winter and help lessen any disruption. We also introduced a newt and dragonfly-friendly planting scheme in the refurbished ponds to help them settle into their new environment.
This has been a great success – our regular survey found that the newt population has increased significantly since the refurbishment. We found 117 great crested newts and 126 smooth newts in the refurbished ponds, compared to a total of 19 newts in the old ponds.
This excellent news is a testament to good planning, and collaborative working with an ecological approach to the work. As a result of this success we are now planning to refurbish the other two ponds later in 2019.