Newts feel at home in Halesworth

Halesworth home

A group of electricity workers powered through a range of tasks to help great crested newts feel at home at a pond in Halesworth.

Staff from UK Power Networks volunteered their time to do vital maintenance on a pond that has long been a place for the protected newts to breed.

The Suffolk site around an electricity substation in the north of the town was first transformed into a wildlife haven by the company back in 2004 and since then regular work has taken place to ensure the habitat is preserved for newts including making the pond deeper.

The latest tasks included a team of tree cutters removing selected trees to reduce the shading over the pond.

The cut wood was used to create log piles and brash piles elsewhere in the woodland to provide much-needed shelter for the newts and other wildlife.

UK Power Networks’ Environment Adviser, Heather Patrick, says, “We work with ecologists, including those at Suffolk Wildlife Trust, and follow their recommendations for enhancing biodiversity at this site including vital maintenance of the woodland to ensure the pond stays in good condition. Three trainees joined the work party, which was led by maintenance manager Martyn Elvin, who was involved back in 2004 so could tell them about the original project.

“Great crested newts are a protected species and the aim of everyone at UK Power Networks involved in this successful project is to ensure that the pond continues to be suitable as a breeding ground for them long into the future.”

Simone Bullion, Conservation Manager at the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, says, “We are pleased to have worked with UK Power Networks to advise on the restoration of this important pond. These management measures are essential to allow light to reach the pond surface and enable great crested newts and other wildlife to thrive.”

The UK Power Networks team got involved through Donate a Day, a volunteer scheme which gives employees two paid days leave each year to work on voluntary projects with charities in their local community.

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