Earlier this year Francesca Dunn from the Freshwater Habitats Trust took volunteers Sue, George and Adam, as well as Andrew and I along to survey for Great Crested Newts. The survey was part of a nationwide PondNet project run by the Trust. We used eDNA survey techniques to discover whether Great Crested Newts were present in 4 ponds in the Hawley area.
The results are in and it turns out that a pond in Watchmoor Park Nature Reserve has Great Crested Newts present! This is fantastic news as the newts are a European protected species which is disappearing from many sites. This information will be used to determine the effectiveness of eDNA as a survey technique and to aid in monitoring the changing distribution of the species.
Many thanks to the volunteers who helped us survey and to Francesca for providing her supplies and expertise.
Assistant Ranger Jenny