Smooth Newt

Triturus Lissotriton vulgaris

  1. Wildlife
  2. Amphibians
  3. Smooth Newt

About

Newts are amphibians, breeding in ponds during the spring and spending most of the rest of the year feeding on invertebrates in woodland, hedgerows and tussocky grassland. They hibernate underground, amongst tree roots and in old walls. The Smooth Newt is also known as the 'Common Newt', and is the species you are most likely to find in your garden pond.

How to identify

Grey-brown-grey with an orange belly and neat black spots all over. In the breeding season males have a smooth crest running the full length of their body and tail.

Where to find it

A common species found throughout the country, except for parts of western Scotland, west Wales, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and the Isles of Scilly.

Habitats

When to find it

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

How can people help

Human activity, including the drainage of land for agriculture and the loss of ponds through development, has resulted in the disappearance of many wetlands. This has taken its toll on wetland wildlife like newts. The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with planners, developers and farmers to ensure our wetlands are protected. You can help: encourage newts and other amphibians into your garden by having a wildlife-friendly pond and leaving piles of logs for hibernating beneath. In partnership with the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts' Wild About Gardens initiative can help you plan your wildlife garden.

Local information

Kintbury Newt Ponds is a small Berkshire nature reserve that is home to all three British species of newt. Part of the Upper Thames Living Landscape project involved digging new ponds for newts and other species. Bernwood Forest is made up of a mosaic of habitats and one of the aims of the BBOWT project here is to create new ponds. You can help with these projects and on other BBOWT nature reserves by joining a local work party. Creating a pond is a great way to encourage more wildlife, including newts, into your own garden.

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Species information

Common name
Smooth Newt
Latin name
Triturus Lissotriton vulgaris
Category
Amphibians
Statistics
Length: 7-11cm Average Lifespan: 6 years
Conservation status
Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.