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Pond created in Gloucestershire to protect UK amphibians and reptiles

25 November, 2009 - 12:00 -- World Land Trust
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November 2009 - World Land Trust creates Pond on its UK Reserve in Gloucestershire in a bid to help address the 'extinction crisis' facing frogs, toads, newts, snakes and lizards across the UK

World Land Trust, whose patron is Sir David Attenborough, is best known for raising funds to save tropical forests and their threatened species but it does have one reserve in the UK. The Kites Hill Reserve, near Painswick in Gloucestershire, protects 40 acres in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and consists of natural meadowland, ancient beech woodland and newly restored woodland. In its bid to increase the biodiversity on the reserve the Trust has recently created a large wildlife pond on what was farmland.

A grant of £5,000 was provided for this purpose by Gloucestershire Environmental Trust, with landfill tax contributions donated by Cory Environmental. The pond was constructed by JPR Environmental, a landscaping company which specialises in projects that enhance the environment and benefit the UK's protected species. It is hoped that the pond will begin to attract aquatic species, such as frogs and newts, as part of the county's Local Biodiversity Action Plan which aims to protect natural habitats and important species in the area.

Renton Righelato, former Chairman of WLT Trustees and now Honorary UK Reserves Manager, commented: "We are delighted to have obtained funding to enable us to create a pond at Kites Hill. Our intention is to provide a haven for wildlife on our UK reserve and, together with the tree planting, bat and bird box installation and other conservation measures already carried out, we hope to encourage colonisation by species that are being lost to the area. It is estimated that more than half of all European amphibians and two-fifths of all reptile species are disappearing according to studies published recently, so we want to do all we can to encourage and protect them on our Kites Hill Reserve."

For further information on the World Land Trust please contact:
Emma Beckett
T: 07984 462201

The World Land Trust (WLT) is an international conservation charity based in Suffolk. WLT raises funds and works with overseas project partner organisations to purchase and protect threatened habitats for their biodiversity; Kites Hill is its only UK site.

Kites Hill was originally used as farmland and was donated to the WLT in 1999, to be maintained as a nature reserve. Over 300 trees have been planted on the reserve as part of plans to extend the ancient beech woodland, which has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The whole site, as well as being an Area of Outstanding Beauty, is also classed as an Environmentally Sensitive Area.

Kites Hill is located 5 miles south-east of Gloucester off the A46 near Prinknash Abbey. It is open to the public all year round with a nature trail through the beech woodland. There are plans to extend this trail to the pond in 2010.

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