Great crested newts are a nationally and European rare species. They are also a protected species and, sadly, they are in decline. Here in Ealing, we’re lucky to have a few sites across the borough where they live and breed. As the UK is a European stronghold, it’s absolutely vital that we protect our fragmented populations.
Ealing has a few sites where these newts cling on. Unfortunately, their habitats are degrading in value and suitability for breeding as old ponds become overgrown and neglected. Ealing Wildlife Group (EWG) is committed to protecting those habitats by improving their quality.
We are not alone – EWG is working in collaboration with the park rangers and Friends of Horsenden Hill. We hold regular task days to improve these important ponds and surrounding habitats ensuring the great crested newt can continue to breed and thrive.
Ealing’s Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) is currently in development, in consultation with EWG. As part of this, great crested newts will have their own Species Action Plan (SAP).
If you would like to get involved, volunteer task days are held in winter, before the newts come out of hibernation. We clear ponds and improve them for the newts as breeding sites. Rotating across the borough, we clear 2-3 habitats each year. This ensures ponds are at various states of succession or regrowth. This enables us to support healthy great crested newt colonies over time.
We’ll arrange a volunteer day as soon as we can. Usually these task days happen in December/January.