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National Newt Day – Bath Spa University

National Newt Day

Bath Spa University academics have initiated a national awareness day for newts on 24 April.

National Newt Day is held on 24 April and aims to increase awareness of the decline of the UK’s Great Crested Newt population. Numbers have declined dramatically in recent years, despite the protection provided by UK and EU law. This is mostly because of habitat destruction, loss of ponds, and pollution. 

Bath Spa University's Newton Park campus has a thriving Great Crested Newt population, and is home to the two other native species of newt: smooth and palmate. This is largely thanks to habitat management efforts of students and staff.

"We’ve been monitoring the populations in all the ponds annually. Numbers indicate populations are doing well and we are confident that our efforts in managing the ponds and habitat are helping the newt populations thrive."

Penny Snowden, Grounds Manager at Bath Spa University

Our Grounds Team, along with students and staff from our Environmental Science, Biology, and Wildlife Conservation courses, have cleared ponds and vegetation to provide open spaces in the water for the male newts to perform courtship displays.  

During our annual ‘BioBlitz’, students and staff try to identify as many organisms as possible in a day. Students can access the green spaces and natural ecosystem to monitor wildlife including the newts, hedgehogs, different species of owl, insects and deer. The University's consultant ecologist, who is licensed to handle the protected Great Crested species, also conducts a newt survey in the spring. 

These habitat management activities are essential for students learning conservation skills and give them the chance to develop practical skills for their future careers. 

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