Posted on: Thursday 2 February 2023
A new wetland area has been created near Garn Lakes Local Nature Reserve as part of a project to conserve amphibians and reptiles.
The series of ponds were formed just before Christmas and it's hoped they will become home to a range of different wildlife, including newts and toads, fish, mammals like otters, birds and insects, such as dragonflies.
It comes as this year's World Wetlands Day on Thursday 2 February celebrates and promotes wetland restoration across the globe.
The new area was created thanks to the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation's Connecting the Dragons project, which is funded by the National Lottery and aims to raise awareness of declining and fragmented amphibian and reptile populations.
Project officer Peter Hill said: "The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation group was delighted to work with Torfaen Council to increase the breeding habitat for amphibians at Garn Lakes.
"Pond clusters are far more beneficial than single ponds enabling more robust populations of amphibians, in particular Great Crested Newts, to be more resilient to modern day threats and pressures."
Toads and Great Crested Newts are both listed under the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 as species of principle importance in Wales.
Great Crested Newts are legally protected meaning their eggs, breeding sites and resting places are protected.
Once the new ponds are established, they will become an important part of Blaenavon’s wetland landscape.
As well as increasing animal and plant biodiversity, healthy wetlands can help protect communities from flooding by holding back and slowing the flow of water through the landscape.
They also store carbon emissions so are vital in the fight against climate change. To find out more about how Torfaen Council plans to reduce carbon emissions, click here to read our Climate and Nature Emergency Action Plan.