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22:36 on Wednesday
23 July 2008

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New home for newts


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New homes have been created for great crested newts which were found on the site of a housing development in Eye, near Peterborough.

Bourne-based developer Larkfleet Homes is building houses at The Meadows off High Street in Eye.

Around 50 great crested newts were found when Larkfleet worked with government agency Natural England to carry out a survey of the site.

 A great crested newt


The newts, although common in this part of England, are a protected species and the law requires developers to make arrangements for their welfare. Larkfleet has created a special pond area in the site's park to allow the newts to continue to thrive.

Independent ecologist Phil Horton, from Grantham-based Ecological Services, has been helping Larkfleet to care for the newts. He said: "It is vital that we make efforts to conserve the great crested newt.

"The newt habitat created at The Meadows demonstrates how it is possible to maintain a good balance between bringing forward developments and preserving wildlife. We will be enhancing the site - planting more aquatic plants that the newts like and ensuring the grass surrounding the ponds is allowed to grow - to make the site as suitable as we can for the newts."

Karl Hick, managing director of Larkfleet, said: "Great crested newts are a protected species so it is very important that we look at ways of preserving their habitat. The new area of the park that we have created at The Meadows provides a safe, natural environment that will allow them to continue to prosper."

The Meadows comprises a range of two, three, four and five bedroom homes and includes nine affordable starter homes that will be managed by Peterborough-based Nene Housing.

The first phase of The Meadows at Eye will be complete in summer 2007 and is only a short walk from the village's own nature reserve at Eye Green.

Great crested newts can be found across most of the UK. Adult newts have been recorded up to fifteen years old and often return to the same breeding site.

April 2007 - Peterborough UK Community Website

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