New wildlife ponds could be created in Rother Valley area

A series of new wildlife ponds could be created in the Rother Valley area after a wildlife scheme was extended.

By Kate Mason
Tuesday, 10th August 2021, 7:00 am

Environmental consultancy Wildscapes CIC have delivered in the region of 100 ponds across South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Derbyshire and due to continued success, a further 25 ponds will be created within South Yorkshire this winter.

The work forms part of the Natural England-led district level licensing scheme for great crested newts.

This new scheme to South Yorkshire means that when a proposed development is likely to impact on GCN habitat, developers now have the option of a quicker and simpler alternative to the traditional GCN mitigation licence.

A Wildscapes CIC pond in Sheffield

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Since its launch earlier this year, the scheme has provided multiple new ponds for the benefit of GCN.

The need for suitable land will be ongoing and interested parties are encouraged to contact Wildscapes CIC to discuss potential sites for consideration.

Conservation contracts manager for Wildscapes CIC Steven Greenwood said: "We’re delighted that the scheme is off to great start in South Yorkshire and that there is a need for more ponds so soon following the batches we’ve created over the last couple of years.

"We’ve received a huge amount of interest from landowners across the region offering their land to support the creation of GCN habitat and from those looking to play their part in the preservation of this protected species.”

During the 20th Century half of the UK’s ponds were lost, primarily due to the change in land use away from mixed farming, and the remaining ponds are considered to be in a poor state. This has been identified as the key factor in the decline of GCN populations.

Not only does the district level licensing scheme aid the development process, it aims to secure the long term protection of this species and their habitat.

As the habitat delivery partner for the region, Wildscapes CIC aim to create new ponds in the most suitable locations to allow the newts to thrive.

Landowners are not asked to contribute financially to the pond creation/ restoration but simply to take a few basic measures to protect the habitat quality of the pond.

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