Durham Wildlife Trust’s Heart of Durham Project love a challenge and when the going gets tough, team work is needed.
The Heart of Durham project works in partnership with Northumbrian Water, helping to manage, protect and enhance some of the water companies vast and varied land assets, which surround its reservoirs, water treatment and sewage treatment sites. Many of these areas are important ecologically for the habitat, whilst others are important for the species that are found on them.
On Friday the 11th of November, waders were pulled on and toes gingerly dipped into the water of the pond at Tudhoe Sewage Treatment works.
Originally a fire brick pond, it was re-excavated in 2009, by Northumbrian Water, and now it supports a medium sized population of Great Crested newts, a European Protected species.
Over the last four years, volunteers with the Heart of Durham Project, have broken ice, braved inclement weather and always very cold water to clear the pond of weed and bulrush (Typha) which left uncleared would eventually clog the open water.
When night time temperatures start to rise above freezing in March and April, the newts which have been hibernating in the surrounding woodland and adjacent manmade hibernacula, start returning to the water to find mates and to breed. Northumbrian water staff, carrying out surveys to determine population numbers of newts within the pond, have noticed a steady increase over these years
So all those cold dips have been worth it!!!!
Thank you to the Heart of Durham Volunteers who moved mud, weed and reeds to help clear the pond. Job well done.