Jon Cranfield

A mitigation site in Essex

In great crested newts, mitigation, Observations, Wildlife on December 17, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Yesterday I visited a mitigation site for great crested newts, smooth newts, slow-worms, adders, grass snakes & lizards. A group of 6 ponds have been created in compensation for the loss of 2 ponds from a site located close by – in fact southwards over the A127.

The newt receptor site is developing well and has been in place for approx 3 years or so. In 2009/2010 over 3,000 newts were relocated from the ‘donor’ site to the area which is currently fenced in. I am looking to manage the site with the surrounding habitats on behalf of a developer who has had to create this receptor site along with an artificial washland.

I took my TDS meter with me to measure the total dissolved solids within the ponds and in pools of rainwater around the site. We have 6 ponds of various sizes and age in this area (you can see one of them in the photo). The TDS readings were surprising – some were above 400ppm and the middle pond had a TDS reading of less than 20ppm!  I suspect that some of the water draining into these ponds is coming from the former drainage system as outlined in this entry on the garden pond blog

I am planning to create new pond complexes within this area amongst the receptor site ponds – a series of small, medium sized shallow to mid depth ponds over the next year or so

It will be interesting to see how these ponds develop in the future – with a 20 year management agreement I will be able to find out…..

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