Newts are attracted to ponds of any shape or size, but building one with at least one sloping side into it, will help keep visiting wildlife safe from drowning by giving them an easy way to enter and excite. But, what more do newts need to attract their presence and keep them safe?
We are fortunate to live out in the country and within walking distance to a park with a number of wildlife ponds. Children who visit are fascinated by the wildlife attracted to these ponds and of particular interest this summer were the newts which they so desperately wanted to catch and keep as pets in a bucket at home. This then led me to do some research on these amphibians and to see if we could make some changes to our gardens to attract newts naturally rather than forcing them away from their ‘home’ habitat. Newts, are in fact partly protected species so, by law should not be removed from the wild and introduced to a garden pond. If you create the right environment you can attract them. Newts, by their natural behaviour are attracted to a garden pond. They wonder about looking for pond environments to colonise.
Newts need a dual habitat – a pond where they can lay their eggs and surrounding dry land containing slugs, snails and insects for them to eat along with cover to hide from predators. A loose rockery near a pond is an ideal place for them. Newts also need a safe place to lay eggs. Their mating season is April to June. They will choose to lay eggs on leaves which have become folded over such as those of the water crest, water forget-me-not and flote grass. Baby newts will emerge at the end of June. They will remain in the pond until August after which they will move on to land and start looking for a place to hibernate for the winter. There they will remain until February. Newts, as with most other wildlife attracted to ponds prefer shallow water ponds. Enjoy creating that perfect environment for attracting newts into your garden and to your pond – a great project for the winter months before the newts emerge in February!