Darlington Newt Ponds

Durham Wildlife Trust are partnering with Natural England to create ponds across Darlington for the conservation of Great Crested Newts. We are offering up to £3,200 to create new ponds through EnTrade’s auction platform. Alternatively you can register your interest to have the pond dug on your behalf.

The ponds are required to compensate for the effects of development on Great Crested Newts. They are being created at a landscape scale to benefit the county’s newt population, and the ponds will be colonised naturally by amphibians and aquatic vegetation.

Providing your land falls within the target area shown on the map below and you can meet the criteria, we invite you to take part in the scheme by bidding to create from 2 to 6 ponds.

If your pond requires planning permission, we can guide and support you through this process.

Please click register or view further requirements below.

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The auction will run from 27th July to 25th August 2021. Whilst we will initially prioritise ponds that can be delivered soonest, we are happy for landowners to bid to deliver ponds anytime up to the end of March 2023. It is possible that all successful bidders will have an opportunity to create wildlife ponds under the scheme.

Habitat requirements

We are on hand to support you in understanding the options we are looking for and tailoring them to your land - please get in contact with any questions or queries.

Please contact Kirsty Pollard on 0191 584 3112 or email kpollard@durhamwt.co.uk.

Details of the full criteria are given below:


  • Within the area shown on the map below
  • Within 50m of rough terrestrial habitat, such as thick hedgerows, woodland or scrub
  • On ground of low ecological value
  • On open ground where sunlight can penetrate the pond
  • Away from potential sources of pollution, including agricultural run off
  • On clay/impervious soils that are likely to hold water

Pond specifications

We are looking for new ponds that meet these criteria:

  • An area of at least 150m2
  • A terrestrial buffer zone of at least 3m around each pond (this may need fencing)
  • A depth of at least 1m
  • Gently sloping slides with spoil graded around the pond or carted away
  • The pond should be filled by groundwater or rainwater, but must not be connected to field drains, ditches, streams, or other ponds which may contain fish, invasive species or polluted water

The ponds must not

  • Be located nearby other ponds or lakes that are heavily used by ducks or geese
  • Be located where rivers or streams may flood and introduce fish to the pond
  • Be stocked with fish or be used to encourage waterfowl
  • Be located within 30m of a highway or a badger sett
  • Infringe on utility services such as overhead powerlines or buried pipes
  • Affect archaeological features
  • Damage the roots of mature trees during excavation or impact on protected species
  • Be within a SSSI or other nationally important site


We are looking for ponds across the Darlington region, in the area on the map shown below. If you are not sure if your land is within the area please get in touch.

The Auction

The scheme will be run as a ‘sealed bid’ auction. You will be asked to enter your price per pond and bids will be analysed based on a price per pond created. We are inviting applications for ponds for £2800 - £3200 per pond.

EnTrade is experienced in running these schemes and the tool is proven in protecting water environments and creating new habitat.

Once you have decided on the location of your pond you will be able to bid for funding to undertake it on this platform. You can edit or delete your bid at anytime until the auction closes and whilst price is a factor, it is equally important that the quality of the habitat created meets the requirements above.

If you require any further detail on this scheme please contact us.

Register Contact us