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Protected great crested newts found on railway line near Lydd

By Molly Mileham-Chappell

A family of nationally protected amphibians have been found on a railway line in Kent.

Rail engineers downed tools when they stumbled upon a family of Great Crested Newts who had set up home beneath the track on a freight line.

Network Rail staff working at Caldicott crossing near Lydd, Kent, got a surprise when they lifted a railway sleeper to replace it, only to find one of the amphibians, which are protected by law.

The patch odf railway being fixed (4018692)
The patch odf railway being fixed (4018692)

Ian Mackenzie, the site supervisor, said: "Our staff are very aware of the endangered species that sometimes inhabit the railways, so when the sleepers were removed and we found the newts it was escalated immediately.

"Work was stopped and everyone was informed that the railway line and the road by the level crossing would have to remain closed until we could ensure the newts’ absolute safety and protection.

"On Bank Holiday Monday, an environmental consultant from Thomson Ecology arrived so the work could continue under her safe supervision.

One of the newts found in Lydd (4018694)
One of the newts found in Lydd (4018694)
One of the newts (4018684)
One of the newts (4018684)

"While the work was being supervised we happened to find six more newts, which we were able to safely rehome nearby.

"Despite the delay to our work schedule, fortunately no freight trains were running during the closure."

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