Except there weren’t any newts. Well, one smooth newt, but it was very small.
I found lots of toads though…
This housing development has been on the cards for about a decade – I was the first person to do a Phase 1 habitat survey of the site back in about 2006 and subsequent to that the site has had various ecological surveys including for bats (no roosts found) and newts (medium population). Here we are in 2015 finally with planning permission and a licence to fence the site off and remove any newts present using pitfall traps and refuges.
It helps that the landowner was persuaded to keep the woodland in the background, which happens to be a Local Wildlife Site with excellent habitat for newts, frogs and toads. Nonetheless, this is perhaps an example of how long it can take to bring even a medium-sized housing development into reality.
The site is now under construction.