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Newts in our Neighbourhood!
Over the last year you will have seen some significant changes to our Green in and around the pond area.
With the help and support of the Wildlife Trust advising us as to what best to do, we cleared out the pond, relined it, refilled it and planted it up with different plants to attract wildlife. We also cleared the grass from around one edge to create a wildflower meadow, and created some banks around the woodland to create homes for newts and sunny banks to plant bulbs on. Bulbs, including wild daffodils, snowdrops, bluebells and primulas have also been planted around the perimeter of the pond and wood.
The Residents’ Association has now taken on the management of this area, following on from our consultations with local residents like you, to create a better place for wildlife and a nicer area for us all to enjoy.
One of the most spectacular creatures living in our pond is the smooth (or common) newt. You may have spotted the black plastic strips put in the newly excavated pond in the spring of this year. This was to create areas for pregnant females to lay their eggs, and we were delighted to see that this tried and tested method, to create 'false' plants for them to lay individual eggs on and carefully wrap them to protect them from predators, worked. The newts appeared in good numbers to breed and lay the next generation of Botolph Green pond newts.
Once they have completed their breeding cycle, some of the adult newts will stay in the water to feed over winter and some will move from the water, feeding on spiders, beetles and other small creatures, looking for somewhere safe to spend the winter months on land.
At our last work party day in October we spoke to a number of local residents who tell us that they too have newts in their gardens.
Having completed all the above work, we would now like to begin to find out how much wildlife is about. So we need your help.
Please contact us and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Environmental Records Centre http://www.cperc.org.uk/submit-records/ to let us know if you too have newts in your garden (or any other wildlife such as hedgehogs, bats, garden birds etc.)
All you need to do is tell us where and when you've seen them. You can include pictures too.
Excitingly, we have one record of the protected Great Crested Newt seen in the pond last year for the first time, so photos will be useful to determine if the Crested Newt is in our gardens too.
At this time of year it is likely newts will be found in piles of rubble, soil, under bins or loose stones and paving slabs in gardens, as these provide safe hibernation sites, sheltered from frosts and predators. Remember though to look but not disturb in any way.
For more information about these animals visit http://www.wildlifebcn.org/species/smooth-newt and http://www.wildlifebcn.org/species/great-crested-newt (you can search for information on other garden wildlife here too).
For much more on newts, contact Rachel Price at the Wildlife Trust for your free leaflet firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to get involved with or find out more about our 'Wild Green', we will be holding a tree planting and woodland management day soon with free soup, roll and hot drinks and next spring we will be doing an evening newt survey and daytime pond dipping to see what else we can find in the pond.
If you would like to get involved please contact - get in touch
Read more about newts in Peterborough
Festival on the Green 2015
Festival on the Green will be returning for its 9th year
Planning is now underway and details of events will follow over the next few months
Put it in your diary!
Carols on the Green
Pictures by Tony Cronin. Click for bigger pictures.