Over the half term break, our pond at the bottom of the field was renovated as part of Natural England's District Level Licensing Scheme for Great Crested Newts (a European Protected Species).
The project is funded through housing developers who are paying for pond creation/restoration work in areas with known records of Great Crested Newt to mitigate for the destruction of habitat on their development sites.
High Halden Primary School is within a core area – in other words Great Crested Newts have been found here at some point in the past.
Natural England like to create or restore ponds in clusters (usually within 250m of each other) so they can provide stepping stones for these newts to move around more easily and breed. Although Great Crested Newts are not rare, their suitable habitat is becoming more and more depleted; they also prefer deeper, larger ponds compared to Smooth and Palmate newts.
The work was carried out by a local company based between High Halden and Woodchurch:FGS Pilcher
The partnership officer, Sarah Harrington-James will be returning in the Spring to help the children plant the pond area and learn more about Great Crested Newts.