Peterborough’s newts are facing an uncertain future - that is what a Euro MP and Frog Life’s CEO have warned.
Cambridgeshire MEP Alex Mayer and Froglife Chief Executive Kathy Wormald are concerned that newt rights may be watered down after Brexit.
Currently Peterborough newts are protected in areas such as the 300-acre nature reserve, Orton Pit, thanks to their status as a European Special Area of Conservation (SAC), But there is no guarantee of what will happen to this after Brexit.
A Special Area of Conservation is the gold standard level of protection for nature reserves ensuring that nothing can be done to harm the animals that live there.
To be designated a SAC, sites like Orton Pit have to meet a number of strict criteria based upon their size and the uniqueness of species found. The Peterborough site got its status as it is home to the rare Stonewort algae and the largest known population of Great Crested Newts in Europe.
Alex Mayer MEP said: “No-one who voted for Brexit voted to harm our newts. That is why it is so important we urgently get clarity from the Government on the future of Special Areas of Conservation, who will monitor them, and crucially how we ensure a pan-European approach to conservation going forward.”
Kathy Wormald, CEO of Froglife, said: “SAC status is hugely to important to us. It gives this site the highest protection available to the species here across Europe and protests this fantastic site for future generations”.