This survey season we once again surveyed multiple ponds across 13 Wild Ground sites


This survey season we once again surveyed multiple ponds across 13 Wild Ground sites, and spotted a whopping 1,879 great crested newts!

We had peak count site records for three sites, namely Bryn y Groes, Broughton and Stryt Las. Our Aberderfyn reserve in Johnstown returned its highest peak count since 2016, but conversely, we only recorded 1 GCN at Brandie Brook (which is a stepping-stone from Aberderfyn and Stryt Las) this year.

The picture at our Buckley sites was also mixed, with only 2 GCN recorded at Knowle Hill, and 6 at Spon Green. However, we had 64 GCN at Maes y Grug, our 4th highest peak count since 2015, and we had our 3rd highest ever peak count at Lane End with 973 GCN recorded! We had middling numbers of GCN at our Glascoed and Trefnant reserves, but with a lot of pond management work planned at these sites for this winter, we hope that this will help to boost numbers going forward.

Last winter we undertook significant restoration of one of our ponds at Aberderfyn and another at Maes y Grug. We were very encouraged to record the presence of GCN in both of these ponds this survey season.

Whilst numbers of GCN were overall quite variable across sites, this is to be expected, and it is always worth remembering that the individuals encountered during our night-time surveys represent only a small fraction of the total population size at any given time.

We have lots of pond improvement work planned this winter, and several pond restoration projects on the cards, with the aim of further improving our local GCN habitat to encourage them to flourish and enable their populations to increase.

We feed all our GCN survey results into a national database which is overseen by Natural Resources Wales and maintained by Cofnod, our Local Environmental Records Centre. To date this database holds more than 38,000 records!

Big thanks as always to our intrepid survey team and supporters, and of course our brilliant volunteers for ensuring another successful year of surveys! Here’s looking forward to newt survey season 2024!