Habitat creation and long-term monitoring of Great Crested Newt populations at Magna Park, Leicestershire
Client: Gazeley Properties
Year: 1997 – present
Primary Species/Habitats Assessed: Great Crested Newt
Magna Park is a former airfield with proposals to develop the site into distribution warehouses, ancillary offices and car and lorry park. ecosulis ltd was commissioned in 1997/1998 to undertake initial baseline surveys which revealed the presence of a Great Crested Newt metapopulation within a series of ponds on site.
Subsequent surveys were carried out to determine the size of Great Crested Newt populations. Based on this information, a suitable long-term mitigation package was proposed to protect newts from the phased development
Works were carried out under a number of licences for the purpose of development issued by Defra. The proposals necessitated the closure of a number of ponds and translocation of newt populations to new ponds created within designated refuge areas. A total of six new ponds were created with minimal planting and allowed to develop naturally.
Annual monitoring of the newt populations is continuing at the site. The results to date indicate that favourable habitat and conservation status within the refuge areas is developing towards an important long-term habitat resource for the species.