The species was discovered at The Park housing development ahead of construction. Working with CSA Environmental, Kier Living Eastern secured a mitigation licence from Natural England and began work to protect the existing pond while creating new habitats where the newts can take refuge nearby.
Measures to protect the 40 newts found were put in place before construction started, including fencing off areas of long grassland and scrub which are ideal habitats for newts. To ensure these areas were not accidentally disturbed, Kier Living Eastern erected fencing and signs to inform the public not to enter for the safety of the newts.
Further work to enhance the existing pond, grassland and orchard habitats was undertaken and a new wildlife pond created, that is linked to the existing pond via a ‘newt corridor’. A small number of newts were moved to the new habitat.
Joanne Makin, senior ecologist at CSA Environmental, has been involved throughout the project and has permission to handle, capture and transport the newts to their new homes.
She said: “Kier Living Eastern has ensured that the great crested newts are protected and has been dedicated to creating habitats for their long-term conservation. The newts now have a combination of aquatic and terrestrial habitats, as well as log piles and places to hibernate, which they can use to breed, take refuge and hibernate year-round. Great crested newts really are a key part of this development.”
David Thomas, sales and marketing director for Kier Living Eastern, said: “We were thrilled to work with CSA Environmental on this important project. Kier Living Eastern takes its responsibilities as a housebuilder very seriously, and that includes protecting the local environment we become a part of. We are happy to say the great crested newts are very much a part of The Park development and thanks to the work of CSA Environmental, the newts will continue to thrive.”