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We have newts!

Posted by Miranda Hodgson on 14 May 2010 at 02:31 PM

Yesterday we got up to the vegetable garden for a couple of hours, intending to move the big pile of compost that had been shovelled onto a big sheet of plastic when we emptied the compost bay. As we find so many creatures in that garden, before moving the plastic, we pulled it back to see what was underneath. I expected worms, woodlice, slugs, snails and maybe a toad or a frog, so it was a real delight to see a teeny, tiny little newt.

It was so small, 5cm (2 inches) at the longest, that it would have been very easy to miss and it was only the elegant curve of its tail which gave it away. As it was so very little, it was difficult to say what type it was, but I’m guessing that it was a smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris). I’m also guessing that it may have over wintered in its larval state and only left the water this spring. This one appeared to be shedding its skin, which it will do about once a week whilst it is growing.


Spot the newt

Newts are good to have around as, when on land, they will eat insects and slugs so, although smooth newts are not endangered, we decided to leave the pile of compost where it is for now and give the newt time to move somewhere else. Where there is one newt, there are bound to be others, so this is something to look out for. What fun!

More about smooth newts


David Benson said:

Lovely! Beautiful pics as always. Hope you find lots more. xx

on 14 May 2010 at 03:16 PM

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on 14 May 2010 at 03:38 PM

Miranda Hodgson said:

Thanks, David! I hope we find more too. If there is a pond in a garden near you, you might have newts as well!

on 15 May 2010 at 01:03 PM

richardpeeej said:

Lovely story Miranda-it just goes to show just what is living in these hidden places and in the corners of our garden and for us to take care when moving things. I was listening to the radio about two nights ago and a professor was talking about  the reduction in newts and found it to have a direct correlation with global warming.

on 15 May 2010 at 01:50 PM

EvaInNL said:

Gosh Miranda, I didn't know they were so tiny, he's very lucky you spotted him at all! Your blogs have really made me pay more attention when I'm out gardening, although I've not yet come across anything as exciting as you have, just worms, but I'm always happy to see those!

on 16 May 2010 at 08:40 AM

Miranda Hodgson said:

That's great that you're both looking out for small creatures in your gardens! Hopefully, as time goes by, more of them will come and stay in your gardens.

That's interesting about the newts, Richard.

on 19 May 2010 at 06:20 PM

Gertroid said:

Isn't it brilliant? I, too, am thrilled. I dug a pond in the corner of the lawn last year, and it looks like I did it well because I was instantly rewarded: within a day or two with skaters, within a week or two with red and blue damselflies. Now this year, with newts. First spotted 2 newts (1 male, 1 female) 6 weeks or so ago. Then I was very busy, and then away. But last weekend I saw three. All living in the pond at the moment, so I'm thinking about adding to their possible hidey-holes when they leave. I am almost ridiculously pleased that they made their way to the hole I dug. And the pond looks rather lovely as well, semi-wild with some beautiful border plants, and even the plants outside the wettish area seem to be thriving like nowhere else. Effort (and a litle bit of money) well spent. I recommend it!

on 28 May 2010 at 02:57 AM

Gertroid said:

Well I am thrilled. I dug a small "wildlife" pond last Spring and I have newts. First spotted 6 or more weeks ago - a male (with small crest) and female - almost certainly smooth newts. The last few weeks I've been madly busy, then away for a week. But last weekend I saw 3 newts, all under water, and I am tempted to say that one was smaller. But that might be fanciful as it wasn't clear. But so very rewarding and pleasing...

on 28 May 2010 at 03:07 AM

Miranda Hodgson said:

Gertroid, that's wonderful. Good on you for making a pond!

on 11 Jun 2010 at 11:27 AM