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Newt in school pond

I was clearing leaves from the school pond last week and found this newt.  Is anyone able to tell me what breed it is ?I did look up and thought maybe it was the great crested newt ?  Which just reading about it, looks like it could be a big deal.  Yikes advice please.  We put it straight back in by the way.

If we have newts, is there anything we should be doing ?

It is a school wildlife pond that gets leaves cleared out if its lucky.  I did put some oxygenating weed in it last year, but it all seems to have kind of purple stuff on it, which looks like it has come from the leaves.  Any ideas ?

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 Last year we did have frogspawn in there and some mini frogs but didn't see any this time.  is it correct that you get either newts or frogs, not really both ?

Any advice gratefully received. The children do do pond dipping in the summer, but I feel with the newt there, maybe I need to give the teachers some advice.  (last year the kids pulled out all the weed I have bought and left it on the side at the end of the day) I wasn't too pleased.

 

Posts

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Looks like a common newt( or smooth newt), fairly widespread and not that rare. You obviously have a good school pond. They emerge this time of year to mate, so as little disturbance as possible would be good. It's not a great crested, so you haven't been lucky, and it being a school pond would bring problems of disturbance and questions of protection.

    Frogs and newt happily co exist, there are many myths about wildlife.

    Try to get the teachers to discourage dragging the weed from the pond. Weed is a habitat for many pond dwellers. Get the teachers to explain it and the importance of weed. They probably haven't got a clue so neither will the kids.

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    I agree with Dave, it is not a Great Crested Newt. It is a female though. Most likely smooth newt, though female palmate newts are very similar.  Newts generally will replace frogs at a pond. It is a complex dynamic that involves not only the numbers of frogs and newts but also the number and type of invertebrate predators. There are exceptions though where they live side-by-side quite happily, particularly at ponds where the frog tadpoles have plenty of places to hide out of reach of the newts.

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    Maybe it would be better to cover the pond with netting at the end of Summer to keep the leaves out of the water. It is not good to disturb the pond at any time of the year.



    The weed is essential to the health of the pond.



    Suggest that the pond would make a good topic for research in the classroom. Maybe the teachers would learn something too!
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