Free wildlife ponds for landowners

Planning and Environment
14:41, Tuesday, 13th June 2023

North Lincolnshire landowners can bring to life a forgotten piece of land or neglected pond while helping the environment thanks to a charity offering to create wildlife ponds for free.

It is part of a Natural England scheme designed to protect the rare great crested newt, which can be found throughout our region.

Environmental consultancy Wildscapes CIC have created 44 ponds across North Lincolnshire over the last two years on behalf of the charity.

Landowners and farmers are urged to see if they have any suitable land – the ponds have to be a minimum of 150 square metres and are suited to land that is clay-based, floods regularly or already naturally holds water.

The programme also includes neglected ponds that can be restored.

Wildscapes CIC carry out all the creation or restoration work, as well as maintenance and monitoring over 25 years.

The work is fully funded by Natural England and landowners are only required to provide basic maintenance to keep ponds healthy.

Jordan Porter, Pond Programme Manager for Wildscapes CIC, said: “This is a great opportunity for landowners and farmers that are keen to improve the biodiversity of their land, to do so at no cost, all whilst benefiting this declining species.

“Although it can take several years for ponds to be colonised by great crested newts, we’re seeing fantastic results already with surveys indicating presence of the species in multiple ponds after just one to two years.”

The great crested newt is England’s most strictly protected amphibian, and needs clean ponds in which to breed.

Once a suitable pond is created, the newts colonise it naturally.

During the 20th century, half of the UK’s ponds were lost and this has led to the serious decline of the great crested newt population.

Landowners are urged to contact Wildscapes on info@wildscapes.co.uk or 0114 303 5123 to see if they have suitable land. More information is available on the Wildscapes Facebook page.