The unintended consequences of good intentions

Discussion of sightings in and around the Chorley area.

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Mervyn Thornhill
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:09 pm
Location: Euxton

The unintended consequences of good intentions

Post by Mervyn Thornhill » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:10 pm

The field next to my house in Euxton is about to be developed for housing (that’s another story). Beyond the opposite corner of the field from my house is a pond that has a small population of Great Crested Newts in it. As part of the preparation works an exercise is ongoing to trap and collect any GC newts that might be in the field, with a view to transferring them to some new ponds that are to be built, again at the far side of the field. This has involved installing, last week, a network of newt fencing that breaks up the field into parcels and includes a newt fence alongside and about 5 metres outside my garden. I have never seen a GC newt in my garden, although I have plenty of smooth newts in my pond.

The week before, the hedgehog(s), that have always been in my garden, woke up and I started feeding them. I think, but am not certain, that they are based in the garden and I have large piles of vegetation, twigs etc, one of which I assume to be their home.

Since the newt fence was put in place the hedgehog(s) has/have disappeared. I can only assume that they are trapped on the far side of the newt fence.

Also the frogs returned to my garden pond last week after the fence was installed, but I think the number of frogs and the amount of frogspawn is way down on normal, again, I assume, because many of the frogs are stuck on the far side of the fence and have been trapped and carted off to pastures new.

However, my pond population of smooth newts looks much the same as usual.

And I should also say that, despite the current crisis, the newt traps have been regularly checked by the ecology contractors.

I don’t know whether or not they have found any GCNs but I hope my hedgehogs and frogs are ok.

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