At the end of August, Ian checked the pond that we are developing with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust in the hope of attracting great crested newts to the reserve.

(Here are some links to previous posts about the pond’s development: ONE TWO THREE)

Mail from Ian Wed 24/08/2022 14:43:

I had the chance at the end of today’s work party to have a closer look at the Iris Pond that was restored earlier this year in the hope of attracting Great Crested Newts.

The Iris Pond retaining some water despite the drought and a tiny newt eft among the duckweed.

Brambles etc have grown well as a protective barrier for the pond, so it looks as if there has been no intrusion by dogs. Despite the long dry spell, the pond is still holding water, probably about a foot or so in the centre. The Water Mint we planted earlier is thriving, and the whole pond is covered in Duckweed. I moved the Duckweed and clean clear water shows beneath.
When I pushed the Duckweed away with a stick, a small newt eft, about an inch long, wiggled to the surface before diving down again. I couldn’t tell what type of newt it was, but there must be more of them there. Success!

Mail from the editor: Wed 24/08/2022 14:27:

Was your eft identifiably a great crested newt eft? If so, that would be a terrific result

Mail from Connor Stapleton-Goddard, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, Water Team Projects Officer: Wed 24/08/2022 14:49:

This is great! Thank you for letting me know. I am glad it is still retaining water. It’s a shame it’s covered with so much duckweed, but that eft seems happy enough!

Mail from Ian Wed 24/08/2022 14:55

Hi Suzanne and Connor,
It was a bit too small to tell what sort of newt it was and slightly too far out of reach, but I will be going back. Ian

Watch this space…….

Wikipedia: A newt is a salamander in the subfamily Pleurodelinae. The terrestrial juvenile phase is called an eft.

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