Newts

newtsProtecting Scottish Wildlife – The Great Crested Newt

One of Reigart’s most unexpected successes has been our involvement in the protection of the Great Crested Newt. When Reigart took over the landfill site at Drumcavel Quarry to establish one of our recycling plants, we discovered we had some important neighbours!

Reigart commissioned a conservation survey and the team found the newts, which have the highest level of legal protection for wildlife under both British and European law, due to a serious decline in their population and destruction of their habitats. Alongside these unique little creatures, they found other native amphibian species including the Palmate Newt, the Smooth Newt, the Common Frog and the Common Toad.

Reigart set up a 10 year conservation strategy and left around one quarter of the whole site aside just for these little creatures. We created a man made amphibian area, which we have expanded since it was established in January 2005, and it seems to be working. Every year Heritage Environmental surveys the area and provides a report on how the environment and its inhabitants are doing. In the last 7 years, the Great Crested Newt’s population in the area has increased by over 61%.

Rather than keeping this fantastic example of Scottish wildlife to ourselves, we have now set up an education centre for local schools to take advantage of the site. From the minibus, to lunch and some recycled gifts to take away, Reigart provide a completely complimentary package for the schools. As well as showing them the wildlife, we offer them an insight into how the recycling plant works, and why this is so important for the environment.

For more information on the newts, or how your school can be involved, please contact Kate Reilly on 01236 431290.