Kingswood 1Kingswood Newt ponds and greenspaces

Since returning to the newt ponds at Kingswood at the end of August, the group have embarked on the biggest hedge laying project to date at this site.

The section of hedgerow - now 12 to 15 years old - planted as part of the Great Crested Newt mitigation, has in the past been cut by a tractor-driven hedge cutter.

As a result of this the hedge has grown with multi stems at chest height making the work/art of laying the hedge a slow but still positive experience for us all to enjoy.

We hope to finish this hedgerow project by New Year all being well.    Photo by David Richards

I’d like to say a big Thank You to all the volunteers (Julie, Ian, Rob, Jon, Dave and Dan) who have all still attended the Monday sessions through these different times. I would also like to thank the parish council for their continued support of the project.

It has been quite apparent through conversations with people in the local community that they have really valued the green spaces on their doorsteps, and this has been highlighted to them through the lockdowns.






Running sport media | Air Jordan 1 Mid - Collection - Sb-roscoff


We have had a number of events and workshops at the nature reserve starting with our annual Great Crested Newt (GCN) survey (end April until mid May), a scything for beginners course run by SVP colleague Fred Miller, Pond Dipping with Denise Gibbons and Barbara Wood and Bat Walk led by Nadine Smykatz-Kloss.


GCN Survey 2018: Once again the survey was a great success with numbers up from last year. A highlight of this Kingswood 2second survey of three was when (with the help of volunteers, clear early blue skies and a clear plastic chocolate tray) we were able to photograph the under belly patterns of all 17 GCNs (11 male, 6 female) - the under belly pattern is unique to the individual newt.Kingswood PC

Air Jordan



So we now know that through SVP’s third year of surveying the main breeding pond number of GCNs is up from 5 trapped in 2016 to 17 this year. Also another find on our third survey this year was a male Palmate newt. This is great news as it means that we have all three native newt species in the main breeding pond. However, it makes next year’s survey interesting as both palmate and smooth female newts are very difficult to tell apart.


Fred Miller’s scything course for beginners went really well, Fred showed the attendees the art of cutting and sharpening with a scythe. The group cut a good amount of grass sward on the day, again this work helps towards the continued management of the site for the GCN population and other wildlife.


Pond dipping in July with Denise and Barbara was again a great success, with a number young families attending, a highlight being 6 GCN efts (young newts) found when pond dipping along with many other pond life species.


The Bat Walk led by Nadine was very well attended with 30 adults and children and enough bat detectors to go around! On the walk we were able to hear Common and Soprano pipistrelle bats and, once in the pond area, we were able to hear the larger Noctule bat flying around the pond.


A special thank you to Paul Green for the great photos he keeps on producing for us, capturing some of the work we do on the sites that we manage.











Our partnership with Kingswood Parish Council continues with Stroud Valleys Project installing two tree-stump circles. They have been put in place to provide space for storytelling and a play area for the younger members of the community. There is one in the woodland area next to the main entrance of Tyndale View and the other is adjacent to the community shed near the young orchard trees. A big ‘Thank you!’ to my colleague Fred Miller for the work achieved on the project during my recent absence. Future work plans include a larger storyteller’s tree-stump seat in the top area.


The main habitat management work that has been achieved this year has involved the laying of over 150 feet of hedgerow, creating a boundary between the Great Crested Newt (GCN) refuge area and the public footpath that runs across the nature reserve (see picture below). The volunteers and I have really enjoyed this hedge laying project - a ‘work of art’ as quoted by a number of local residents and walkers as they stopped to chat.

To finish the hedgerow off and to give it more structure and support we will be adding bindings (7-8ft long coppiced hazel) to the top of the hedgerow, weaving three together every 7ft. Once this is done the hedgerow habitat will not only provide good cover, refuge and food for local wildlife but will also look pleasing to the eye.

I hope in the next winter season to continue laying the hedgerow adjacent to the linear orchard and GCN refuge area, look out for a possible one-day ‘Hedge laying for beginners’ course in the near future.

Planned events this year at the Wild About Kingswood project include the Annual GCN survey, Scything for Beginners with Fred Miller, Pond Dipping/Survey and a Bat Walk with Nadine Symkatz-Kloss.Kingswood PC

Check our events guide for further details of these events.




ONewt Barrierur work with Kingswood Parish Council at the Wild About Kingswood project has continued over the past few months with the Great Crested Newt (GCN) survey once again taking place as well as a great bat walk led by my friend and ex SVP colleague Nadine Symkatz-Kloss.

Nadine has sent SVP a short report about the types of bat we observed and heard on the walk. On the walk we heard three types of bats: common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle and a Myotis species.

In her report Nadine says that ‘Early common pipistrelles flew around the village hall and may have emerged from the roof. The Myotis was encountered during the walk to the pond (along the streets) and the soprano pipistrelle was observed at the pond’.

This is great news from a wildlife point of view as it shows that the mosaic of habitats we are looking after is also supporting a good number and variety of bat species. I would just like to take this time to thank Nadine for the great walk and talk that she led on the evening.

This year we also continued our GCN survey to get another ‘snapshot’ of how the population is doing. The 2017 survey ran over April, May and June ensuring the three surveys were conducted at roughly the same time as in 2016.

Highlights of the three surveys in 2017 are:

Main pond:20 floating traps set each survey

27 GCNs; 6 male, 4 female & 17 Efts (aquatic young).

30 Smooth newts; 16 male, 10 female & 4 Efts

Old Dew pond: 10 floating traps set each survey

3 Smooth newts, all female.

450 plus tadpoles!

As we now move in to the winter months, work has started with managing the woodland area at the entrance to Tyndale View, cutting back of scrub on the newt barriers along with the cutting and managing of hedgerows on the site.Kingswood

For more information, contact Richard on 01453 753358.






Great Crested  Newt

Our partnership with Kingswood Parish Council at the Wild About Kingswood project continues apace. Volunteers have built the project communityshed, carried out hedgerow management work around the dew pond with the old hedgerow being laid, and gapped up with saplings and bindings being tied in to give structure and support.



This work will also make the hedgerow great for wildlife by creating a small wildlife corridor that links up two of the mature hedgerows on-site. A number of bird boxes have also been put up in the small woodland area, again boxes made by both the Tuesday Green Health Team and the Wednesday Kingswood group. These types of small bird box can also be purchased from our SVP Eco Shop, 8 Threadneedle Street, Stroud

The installation of two beautifully handmade benches has also been completed, one adjacent to the main breeding pond and the other next to the small woodland entrance to the Tyndale View housing estate. The right weather and the man/woman power meant we could put the benches in over two consecutive weeks.

A big THANK YOU to all the volunteers that were involved in the building and installing of the benches, as well as to Adrian Leaman and Dave Cockcroft who helped us make it all happen!

Keep an eye out for a number of public events being held at the Wild About Kingswood site over the summer, highlights being the annual Great Crested Newt survey, a bat walk, scything course and pond survey - for further details on times and dates contact our office. 

For more information, contact Richard on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 

01453 753358.

Lots of work is being done by volunteers cutting grassland areas across this wildlife site and the volunteers are also becoming a great team of pond bio-blitzers. In July, our volunteers Denise Gibbons and Barbara Wood together with my son Rufus and I took part in a pond dipping ‘bio blitz’ in the main pond. The reason for this exercise was to find out what life we have lurking in Beetlethe pond. Highlights from the 15 different species found during the survey were 45 newt larvae (22 Great crested, 23 Smooth), 13 Dragonfly nymphs, 10 Mayfly larvae and two very small Screech beetles to name but a few. Over the past few summer months, and to not interfere with the local wildlife residents (newts, toads, frog and others), we have spent time sensitively managing the grassland areas to create a varied grassland sward across the  wildlife site. This process has taken us a few weeks but we are already reaping the rewards of having created a diverse grassland areas for the wildlife and public to enjoy.


Thanks go to a number of our volunteers who came along to Kingswood Village Show, and although a little Kingswood Volwindswept (see picture) a fun day was had by all. It was the first time that I was able to play an acting role playing a poacher holding, and then also running for, a Harris Hawk in the bird-of-prey show. Over the next two to three months it is intended for work to begin on restoring the old dew pond onsite, the planting of two wildlifefriendly hedgerows, further access improvements and bulb planting, as well as the first stages of erecting a community shed and a seating area for people to enjoy. For more information, contact Richard on 01453 753358, or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



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Stroud Valleys Project, in partnership with Kingswood Parish Council and thelocal community, have started the new and exciting ‘Wild about Kingswood’ project to restore and enhance a mosaic of habitats. The wildlife habitats that the nature reserve/green spaces consist of are ponds, grasslands, woody areas, a n orchard, hedgerows and ditches. As a collective of different types of habitat they offer great spaces for newts, other amphibians and wildlife that might live or pass through the site at regular intervals.

We have gained valuable experience and considerable insight into the sensitive maintenance and management required to bring wildlife ponds into a favourable condition for amphibians and other pond life. A number of both our staff and volunteers hold Great Crested Newt handling and surveying  Kingswood comp03resizedThese wildlife areas provide lots of opportunity for the local community and general public to get involved in looking after and improving this wild haven that has great potential for both wildlife and people. As the picture above of a female Great Crested Newt shows - taken on our first official visit to the site on Wednesday 6April - the wildlife is thriving!

Here also you can see a video taken in July of efts :- Kingswood efts 27-7-16

We are arranging a number of public events in the near future including three newt surveys over this first season (April to early June). These will provide the project with a clearer picture of the size of the population of Great Crested Newts living in or around these wildlife areas. We are very excited about working in this new area of the district and look forward to welcoming new and existing Friends who would like to take part in surveying.

For more information please contact Richard on 01453 753358 or

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Stroud Valleys Project is a limited company,
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Registered number: 2224016    

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