A recent newt survey trapped 19 newts, 14 Smooth Newts and 5 Great Crested Newts.
These photos show the distinctive belly patterns of each Great Crested Newt
This was the single newt we trapped last year. Does it match any of this years haul?
The Marl Allotment
Did you know that Whixall has its own piece of registered common land?
The Marl Allotment, or Marlot, is situated on the canal side between the canal and Whixall Moss.
Many years ago, local people went there to dig for marl, which is a light, sandy clay, once used as a fertilizer. More recently, it has been abused by people dumping all kinds of waste material, including broken glass, scrap metal, wire and plastics.
The site is approximately six acres and is a mixture of meadow, woodland, scrub and ponds. As such, it lends itself to provide a range of habitats for a variety of wildlife species.
Having once become registered as common land, it fell under the stewardship of the local council. Whixall Parish Council has recognised the importance of the site as a wildlife refuge and has enlisted the aid of Shropshire Council, Natural England, Shropshire Wildlife Trust and other conservation groups to identify the various species and to advise upon the management of the site to best effect.
Staff from Veolia, the waste management company, gave up their time to assist with clearing the dumped materials. Then major scrub clearance work was organised through Shropshire Council and various ponds were re-established. A handful of local volunteers have also been involved with the initial clearance work; they do their best to maintain the site and are grateful for the continued assistance of other volunteer and conservation groups.
They sincerely hope that more local people will get involved in the future, especially as The Marlot is now officially recognised as a wildlife site.
Why not visit The Marlot, to see for yourself? Park at, or walk to, Roundthorn Bridge and open the gate to something different, but please don’t pick the flowers.