The great crested newt District Licensing Scheme is expanding to include nine new Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) across the South Midlands. The overall aim of the scheme is to create and manage high quality habitat for great crested newts and contribute to long-term conservation of the species.
The South Midlands Newt Conservation Partnership (SMNCP), who are the habitat delivery body comprising of staff from Freshwater Habitats Trust and the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, created 39 ponds across seven LPAs in 2018. As part of the monitoring process, SMNCP has used eDNA testing to find out if these new ponds have been successfully colonised by great crested newts. They are now awaiting the results of the eDNA tests, and will be sharing updates on Twitter soon.
For 2019, SMNCP are currently planning to create or restore 40 ponds, with practical work beginning this autumn. They will also continue to monitor and manage ponds already created as part of the scheme.
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