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Attracting Newts To Your Wildlife Garden Pond

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 18 Jul 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Attracting Newts To Your Wildlife Garden Pond

Firstly, it's important to remember that all newts are partly protected species and the crested newt is fully protected so you should never remove them from the wild to bring back home to your garden. However, if you create the right environment, you stand a good chance of being able to attract newts to your garden pond for your wildlife gardening.

Creating The Right Gardening Environment For The Newt

It's part of a newt's natural behaviour to be attracted to ponds and to wander around looking for pond-type environments to colonise. As amphibious creatures, when it's not mating season, adult newts like places to hide and shelter which are damp so building a loose rockery in your wildlife garden near to a pond is an ideal place for them. You'll also often find them sheltering under logs. The other prime concern for newts is that they have a safe place upon which to lay their eggs when they mate which is usually between April and June. Ideal gardening plants for newt ponds include water forget-me-nots, watercress, water speedwell and flote-grass. They will choose to lay their eggs in leaves which have become folded over and you'll be able to notice where they've laid them as you'll be able to see a tiny jelly like egg hidden inside the fold.

Make Sure You Have No Fish In Your Pond

If you want to attract newts to your garden pond, it should be a pond that does not contain any fish as they will eat the baby newts as soon as they hatch. Therefore, you either need to have a pond specifically to attract the likes of newts, toads and frogs containing no fish or, alternatively, build an additional pond next to your fish pond where the baby newts will be safe.

How To Handle Newts In Your Garden

Although you should really let wildlife be and allow newts to simply get on with the business of a 'being a newt', children especially can derive a lot of pleasure and knowledge out of handling a newt in a wildlife garden. This is quite acceptable so long as you're gentle with them, keep your hands wet when handling them and don't take them away from the pond for longer than five minutes.

Recognising The Various Species Of Newt

Britain has 3 different types of newt. These are:

  • Crested Newt - the largest and rarest of the species which has a crest
  • Smooth or Common Newt - this has an orange belly with dark spots on its throat
  • Palmate Newt - this has a yellow belly and no spots

Feeding Newts In Your Garden

You don't really need to worry about feeding newts as they are naturally adept at being drawn to natural or man-made environments such as the wildlife gardens described above where they'll have no problem finding their own food. However, if you have the urge to help them along in your garden, you can always buy supplies of daphnia, bloodworm or brine shrimp from any tropical fish store. It's also important to remember that a pond is best left in its natural state so you shouldn't bother using a filter as this is designed to prevent the build up of algae which serve a fundamental purpose of providing newts with an abundance of water insects which the newt thrives on.

Frogs and newts can co-exist in relative harmony although both of them will eat their own and each others' tadpoles in your wildlife garden. After mating, you'll probably be able to see the baby newts emerge from around the end of June where they'll remain in the garden pond until about August onwards which is the time they'll start heading for land to find hiding places in which to hibernate for the winter months and there they'll remain not to emerge again until around the following February. Therefore, you need to be a little cautious when moving things around the pond in your wildlife garden over the winter period to avoid disturbing them. The life cycle comes full circle between 2 to 3 years when the baby newts become fully fledged adults and are able to breed themselves.

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[Add a Comment]
I am lookin to attract newts to my garden, we do not have a pond and live in an estate, not close to any rivers, is it possible to create a newt garden to attract them? Will there be any near my house as we do not live close to water?
Laurence321 - 28-May-16 @ 10:55 PM
Valerie Dryden - Your Question:
To my delight, my Gardener was clearing my garden pond today, there they were, newts, I really thought there were no wildlife left in my garden pond. For two year's the frogs haven't returned to my pond and have wondered why. Do frogs and newts live side by side? I am so happy to see the newts in my pond. Do they need help leaving the pond during the winter months, should I place a rock to help them climb out?

Our Response:
If you think it would be difficult for them to get onto land without the help of a rock or some plants, then yes, it might be advisable.
WildlifeGardener - 6-May-16 @ 10:14 AM
To my delight, my Gardener was clearing my garden pond today, there they were, newts, I really thought there were no wildlife left in my garden pond. For two year's the frogs haven't returned to my pond and have wondered why. Do frogs and newts live side by side?I am so happy to see the newts in my pond. Do they need help leaving the pond during the winter months, should I place a rock to help them climb out?
Valerie Dryden - 4-May-16 @ 2:19 PM
I have found something that looks like a newt but isn't what is it?
Jas - 30-Apr-16 @ 1:23 PM
Ok, after complaining have no newts, I now have 3 females and a male. Sat on Thursday and watched male doing his tail swishing all was well. Yesterday I saw him and he looked like he had something coming out from where his cloaca is. It was very thin and pale, with a slight pink patch. Today it's longer, looks like his intestines. Do you know what it can be.
LondonNewt - 16-Apr-16 @ 2:53 PM
I noticed a newt in my pond today, think it's a smooth newt. I have plenty of weed, plants and stones which form shelves. Do you think any baby newts will survive as I have fish and frogs in the same pond.
Newtnewbie - 11-Apr-16 @ 4:02 PM
Thank you for replying, we do have lots of foxes and cats. But, this morning I went out and there was a single newt disappearing under a bunch of weed! Hopefully where there is one there are more. So excited, will add more weed to keep them safe. Fingers crossed for eggs and a breeding colony.
LondonNewt - 5-Apr-16 @ 8:16 AM
LondonNewt - Your Question:
My daughters old plastic sandpit was left in the garden and over the years it has attracted various bugs and pond life but sadly no frogs, which I have always loved. One day l looked in and there was a newt. I watched it all summer and then it disappeared. From then on I was hooked and couldn't wait for the next year and the newts return. The next year there were about 6/7 newts. I added some stones and weed, so that they could get in and out easily. My problem is that for the last 3 years there haven't been any newts at all. We have a log pile in the corner of the garden and have never ever used chemical in the garden. This year in an effort to attract I have added some water forget me not in the hope that they will come. Do you think it's because the sandpit is plastic and only 3 inches deep? Oh and I have been out at night with my torch to look. Any suggestions please

Our Response:
We're not sure why the newts haven't returned but there could be a number of causes and don't forget they only use ponds for breeding. When newts are on land they are usually found hiding underneath rocks and logs etc - choosing areas that are dark and damp. While they're in the pond they prefer to be able to hide - so you need to provide lots of dense weed and underwater vegetation. Do you have lots of other garden wildlife? If there's a chance the newts were preyed upon, that might the reason they chose not to return or were taken by predators such as rats, hedgehogs, badgers and even foxes.
WildlifeGardener - 4-Apr-16 @ 10:47 AM
My daughters old plastic sandpit was left in the garden and over the years it has attracted various bugs and pond life but sadly no frogs, which I have always loved. One day l looked in and there was a newt. I watched it all summer and then it disappeared. From then on I was hooked and couldn't wait for the next year and the newts return. The next year there were about 6/7 newts. I added some stones and weed, so that they could get in and out easily. My problem is that for the last 3 years there haven't been any newts at all. We have a log pile in the corner of the garden and have never ever used chemical in the garden. This year in an effort to attract I have added some water forget me not in the hope that they will come. Do you think it's because the sandpit is plastic and only 3 inches deep? Oh and I have been out at night with my torch to look. Any suggestions please
LondonNewt - 1-Apr-16 @ 9:40 AM
Hello, we have had newts in our pond for several years. Earlier today (March) I used a net to clear some weeds off the top of the pond. After five or six net fulls of weed I saw a large common meet or palmate newt. I returned it to the water, but now I am worrying that any eggs that might have already been laid might die as they could be out of the water in the pile of damp pond weed that I left next to the pond.
Natalienewt - 12-Mar-16 @ 8:38 PM
We have flu pond newts in the garden, we don't have a pond but would like to encourage them, if we build a pond and have it natural, should we put a filter and some sort of water fall or fountain to air the pond? Thank
Bazza - 29-Dec-15 @ 8:51 PM
I recently bought an air pump to aerate my small pond and twice in a week I've found the air lines across the lawn the first time with the stones pulled off them, is this likely to be foxes maybe attracted by the bubbles coming up? Plenty of places they can get into my garden but haven't seen any signs of them , this happens between midnight and 7am, any ideas welcome thanks
pinky - 7-Jul-15 @ 6:02 PM
I have noticed some unusual ball like structures on my pond plants some as large as tennis balls they are whitish almost cotton wool like to look at with darker patches. Any ideas as to what they are would be welcome. Thanks.
Mike A - 21-May-15 @ 4:45 PM
@dunc look at night with a torchlight, @lin you have smooth (common male) newts, if the black ones are much larger than the other ones then you have great crested, but if all same size the they are chameleon like and adapt to same colour as enviromment, Trish, often elfts (baby newts) overwinter in ponds if they are born late, I know mine often do. Stephanie leave it where it is, as long as it is damp and cool and covered. Johhny, try to use spring water or rain water, it's purer. Clammy, they are most likely snails' eggs, no harm they will hatch and eat detritus and stale matter from ponds. Matt, elfts eat algae to start with assuming they are smooth newt babies, then daphnia, build a pond late summer and by spring it will have all it needs for newts babies to thrive. emmaquack, it is blanketweed, sift out with hands regularly and put barley straw in.2pondsbob sounds like you may have great crested newts, fantastic! dwdb, he will come back year after year don't worry.Sparks I'd have to see toad tadpoles are black ,frogs brown.Chippy, yes foxes will eat frogs sometimes.Wolves, look at night.Cumbrian, 3 will not affect the frog pop but may do in time, don't move them, build another pond for frogspawn when the newts get in numbers, that's what I did :) cello, in 3-4 years your newts will come back to breed. becky no, just make sure they have shade and access to land if they nned to, newts need to come up for air. Ilovenewts, may have been better off leaving them, a pond they used to go to may be filled in, alternatively if you can find/build them a pond then great but you can't keep them in captivity they are wild animals. desp fantastic!! nita, dragonfly larvae live for a year or 2 in ponds eating anything that moves, as well as pond life provide good hunting ground for them when they hatch, a wildlife garden is ideal, they will come.Wolfiewofhound, newts much prefer wood(love log piles)to stones, it provides natural dampness+moisture. Cumbiran sounds like frogspawn to me, but sounds a bit late for this..uness you are up north.pops, no these are snails eggs.Angelcakes, put it back where found :) agoat, newts are no problem with fish, fish will eat newt elfts though.:(
Herpofauna - 5-May-15 @ 7:05 PM
I have put 3 newts that I found into my wildlife pond, but this was a few days ago and I have not seen them, how can i spot or find them?
dunc - 11-Apr-15 @ 12:31 PM
I have had a pond for about twenty years but over the last four years I have had fewer frogs and more newts. I have not been able to identify the newts, some are jet black but others are yellow/cream all over and some are brown, the all yellow ones don't seem to fit any description,can anyone help'?
lin - 3-Apr-15 @ 4:19 PM
Just using net to get dead leaves out of bottom of pond, and have found a baby newt in the Net abouta inch long, I thought they left the pond in winter and that it would have being Bigger if born last summer?
Trish - 28-Feb-15 @ 1:11 PM
I have just found a small brown newt in my garden, it's under an old hedgehog box in a shady corner. I do have a pond but it's on the other side of a low wall, and I don't know whether I should I place the newt nearer to the pond or leave it where it is.
Stephanie - 8-Sep-14 @ 4:24 PM
I have newts whose spawn was attached to £1 pound wood fencing which I placed in a car boot tray in water, I have counted 15 and only one has died. I have just been out again and even with the frogs in they are surviving. Whats more I have just discovered 2 more baby newts no more than 1 cm long. I do not change their wateroften but when I partially add water it comes straight from the tap. My habitat is covered so cats cannot get at them and they roam freely. Is this a freak of nature. Their mother stays close by but out of the water. I watch them almost every night for about 15 minutes and there clever. I am so proud of them, defying all the odds and yet they are born survivors. I have never read anything like this so I must be doing something right. Shine a light on them and they go dormant. These are my friends I know it may sound rather odd, but at least I have given nature a help in hand
johhnny - 5-Sep-14 @ 10:28 PM
@AaronShaw. Good luck, let us know how your pond develops.
WildlifeGardener - 3-Sep-14 @ 2:35 PM
I have a small garden pond in my backyard. My kids love to watch frogs and fish playing in the water. I have even installed a safety net over the pond from Pond Safety; so I no longer have to worry about the safety of my kids. However, lately I was trying to get some more creatures in my pond; hopefully the ideas you have shared in the article would be helpful for me in this regard. Thanks a ton!!!
AaronShaw - 3-Sep-14 @ 9:19 AM
I have a large amount of jelly globules down the stalks of my pond plants. Definitely not newt spawn too big . I wondered if it could be. Black Ramshorns snail eggs. I have had ponds for years and never seen anything like this before, but this is the first pond I've had with Ramshorn snails. Any ideas please?
Clammy - 23-Aug-14 @ 4:49 PM
our pond fish bred a few weeks ago and put some eggs in a fish tank. To our amazement and extreme delight we noticed we now have 6 common newt babies. I want to give them the best possible start before i release them but i am struggling to get live food small enough, i have given them daphnia,blood worm,and brine shrimp but have not seen them eat i have sat for hrs !!. I cant find any crickets etc small enough from the usual pet shops etc. Can anyone help or do i just have to find stuff in the garden ?. Thanks Mat.
mat - 20-Aug-12 @ 3:55 AM
we have just started a wildlife pond and found some matted pond weed like cotton wool does anyone what it is
emma quack - 20-Jul-12 @ 7:29 PM
I have 2 small ponds in my garden 1 full of fish and frogs, the smaller one full of tadpoles and newts, it is the newts that interest me as I have had 2 newts turn up in the pondfor about 10 years now this year I now have 16 (difficult to count them)there seem to be 2 different types 1 lot are really black and quite large the others are a pale brown, both have a creamy underside with spots, which ones could they be?
2 ponds Bob - 25-Jun-12 @ 8:22 AM
We have had a fishpond for 20 years (3 ft x 2 ft x 18 inch depth with a resident water lily)- only fish, nothing else as the fish ate the spawn - Last fish died in October '11 and this year we have had hundreds of tadpoles (now started leaving the pond). Yesterdayto my surprise we had a newt on the bottom, about 1.5 inches, uniform brown/orange not like your pictures. Where could it have come from (no ponds in the area that I know of). What can we do to keep it (them) faithful to our pond?
dwdb - 8-Jun-12 @ 7:20 PM
Jerry I have just spotted a newt in my pond, I waited until it was dark and looked for any further signs there were lots of frog tadpoles but I also saw some much smaller tadpoles and lighter in colour, could these be newt tadpoles.
Sparks - 27-May-12 @ 11:49 AM
Hi im building a pond in my allotment but there are foxes around, will they eat them?
chippy101 - 11-May-12 @ 8:14 PM
Last year I had 6 newts in my small garden pond, and around 25 - 30 babies it is now mayI have only seen one newt in the pond? the pond is healthy as there are a lot of tadpoles and beetles etc,just wondering where they have all gone? wolves
wolves - 10-May-12 @ 6:22 PM
My frog pond has unexpectedly become a home to 3 or more common (I think)newts.As I am advised that these will eat my tadpoles and froglets, I would like to dissuade them from settling down, without injuring the environment for frogs. Is there anything I can do to help them on their way, without harming them or the tadpoles?
Cumbrian - 1-May-12 @ 7:23 PM
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