Central Bedfordshire gets country’s first newt officer

Indea Chawk has been appointed newt officer of Central Bedfordshire Council. Picture: Deborah McDona

Indea Chawk has been appointed newt officer of Central Bedfordshire Council. Picture: Deborah McDonald - Credit: Archant

Central Bedfordshire Council has appointed the UK’s first ever newt officer to protect the species.

Indea Chawk will be working to raise awareness of a new scheme to conserve great crested newts – found in a third of the county’s ponds.

“I saw the job advertised, I knew it was perfect for me,” she said.

“It enables me to work closely with nature, making a real difference to conservation.

“I am learning so much more about our native species and wildlife.”

As part of her role, Indea will raise awareness for the protected newts, which will be taken into account with any planning application within 500m of a pond.

Councillor Nigel Young, who is responsible for regeneration at the council, said: “The council takes its responsibilities to conservation very seriously.

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“Surveys show that there is a healthy population here in Central Bedfordshire, so it’s great that we have the first ever newt officer.”