Pupils helping trust protect crested newts

A group of five pupils from a south east Northumberland school will be spending the autumn term helping to safeguard a protected species.

The Ashington Community High School pupils will team up with Northumberland Wildlife Trust to care for the great crested newts on its Hauxley nature reserve.

Between now and December, the Year 10 pupils will be busy on the reserve digging more than 100 metres of deep trench in preparation for the installation of newt fences designed to stop the reserve’s resident great crested newt population from wandering into an area which will shortly become a building site.

With tools, equipment and clothing being funded by the People’s Postcode Lottery, the skills gained will stand the group in good stead when they leave school.

Alex Lister, Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s estates officer for Druridge Bay, who in mentoring the pupils, said: “I am amazed by the efforts of the Ashington group as some of the work was actually quite strenuous, but they never stopped all day and were so enthusiastic with what they were doing – they never complained.

“I think it is going to be really enjoyable working with the young people this term.”