Page last updated at 15:42 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 16:42 UK

Cash boost for great crested newt

Great crested newt
Conservation areas will be improved and protected

The number of great crested newts in Cambridgeshire could soon be increasing after the Wildlife Trust secured money for a conservation programme.

The Creatures of the Night project, so called because newts are most active at night, has been kick started by money from the environmental fund Biffaward.

It means habitats at eight conservation areas in the county will be preserved and improved by The Wildlife Trust.

A trust spokesman said the scheme would monitor and safeguard newt numbers.

'Precious creatures'

Matt Hamilton, the Wildlife Trust's deputy reserves manager for West Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: "Great crested newts are coming under increasing pressure across the country as their habitats are threatened by development and modern agricultural practices.

"Thanks to Biffaward's generous funding, we will therefore be able to ensure that these precious creatures can look forward to a secure future on our nature reserves."

The project is being launched at Upwood Meadows Nature Reserve near Upwood, Huntingdon.

Biffaward is a multi-million pound fund which awards grants to community and environmental projects across the UK.

The fund's money comes from landfill tax credits donated by Biffa Waste Services.

Biffaward is managed by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts on Biffa's behalf.

The money also came from local groups such as Friends of the Wildlife Trust.

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