It was quite a surprise when workmen carrying out access improvements next to the Knoll Beach visitor centre came in to the office with a handful of newts. They were in a winter sleep, cold and torpid. Looking closer behind the loosened wooden revetment, many more newts were emerging from the bank, 24 in total, a greater number than were recorded in the whole of the three year Cyril Diver project.
Advice was quickly given by our ecologist, David Brown, and consequently work was put on hold to a later date. The bank was reinstated and the newts returned to their slumber. One night in a month or so, probably unseen, they will become active again and have to crawl across the car park to the nearest pools behind the sand dunes.
The question now is how many more newts are tucked away for the winter in similar spots around the car park?