A NEW scheme hoping to rejuvenate a protected species’ population is breaking ground in Barnsley.

This week, work started at Tyers Hall Farm, Ardsley, on a pioneering group of nature ponds to encourage the growth of the great crested newt (GCN) population.

Funded by Natural England and delivered by community interest company Wildscapes, Ardsley is one of 25 South Yorkshire locations to benefit this winter - joining ponds at Broomhill Flash and Honeywell built last year. Ponds are placed near newt habitats and monitored for the next 25 years.

Steven Greenwood, conservation contracts manager for Wildscapes, said: “We’ve received a huge amount of interest from landowners across the region offering their land to support the creation of GCN habitat and from those looking to play their part in the preservation of this protected species.”