New tool proves to be very effective

The pond at Tudhoe Sewage Treatment Works is an important site for Great Crested newts and over the last few years Durham Wildlife Trust’s Heart of Durham Project, which works in partnership with Northumbrian water, has been clearing the ponds of pond weed. Over those years, the Northumbrian Water conservation team has noticed a steady and significant increase in Great Crested newt numbers.

Traditionally pond rakes have been used which require an enormous team effort to land the haul of weed and bring it onto the bank. A new tool used last Friday proved to be just the tool for the job!


Alex holding the Mark 1Pond grappler
Heart of Durham Volunteer, Alex Swinston, holding the Mark 1 Pond Grappler
The grappler is hurled into the depths of the pond
The grappler is hurled into the depths of the pond
The rope is then wound in
Da…. da! the pond weed is hooked
Mark Morris from Northumbrian Water giving it a go……….
Swinging into action with the lunge

The cleared pond weed will be left at the side of the pond allowing pond creatures and beetles to crawl back into the water. Eventually the weed will be removed to the compost bay on site.

Next year in March the Northumbrian Water conservation team will be out once again surveying the ponds to record Great Crested Newt numbers.