Former steelworks site is a haven for rare newt colony

Great Crested Newts Survey
Great Crested Newts Survey
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BRITAIN’S largest and rarest species of newt is thriving in a nature reserve created in the shadow of a multi-million pound crime campus.

Gartcosh Nature Reserve was created to provide a safe haven for wildlife living on the site of a former steelworks - where the new crime-fighting centre is set to open later this year.

One of the main reasons the reserve was needed was to protect Scotland’s largest population of Great Crested Newts, with over 20 newt-friendy ponds constructed to further that aim.

Other creatures who call the reserve home include palmate and smooth newts, frogs, toads, dragonflies and damselflies.

Conservation charity Frogsense recently surveyed the area - ably assisted by West of Scotland MSP and ‘species champion’ John Wilson - and were delighted to find that the colony was thriving.

Mr Wilson, who accompanied Froglife’s Robert Williams and Iain Maclean on the survey, said: “I welcomed the opportunity to go along and participate in the survey and I was impressed by the skills and knowledge of both Rob and Iain on the night.

“It was good to see the ponds that have been specially created at the Gartcosh site and that the great crested newt population is thriving. It illustrates that when resources are applied to protect species and enhance their habitat, tangible results are seen.”

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