Wildlife including great crested newts will soon be making their homes around two ponds which are soon to be dug on the site of a new country park. 

Dereham Town Council has said work on a new 160-acre country would start during the week of March 27.

Central to the plans are two wildlife ponds to support a variety of wildlife. 

The council said: "These new ponds will benefit a wide range of creatures including great crested newts.

Eastern Daily Press:

"Surveyors have been out to mark the ponds ready for the excavators arriving next week.

"Can we urge everybody to leave the makers alone and keep away from the excavators when they start work."

The park will stretch from Neatherd Moor in the west with Etling Green in the east.

Great crested newts are amphibians that can grow to more than six inches long.

They have a complex courtship ritual in which the male attracts a female through body movements, and then guides her over an area on the pond floor which has fertilized with a substance called spermatophore. 

Eastern Daily Press: A great crested newt. A great crested newt. (Image: Jim Foster, Natural England)

READ MORE: Dereham Town Council has Defra funding approved for Neatherd

The entire site was sprayed a few weeks ago to get rid of weeds. Eventually, it will also include a ‘species-rich grassland’ habitat along with 20 acres of newly-planted flowers.

The ponds will be designed to be ephemeral, holding a larger volume of water following winter and spring rains, but are expected to typically dry out by mid-summer.

READ MORE: Impression of new Dereham country park is released

More than a mile of hedging will be planted later in the year, and the council also hopes to start woodland planting.

Hugh King, town mayor, said of the project: “I am immensely proud to say that this new countryside park will benefit nature and serve the people of Dereham for millennia to come, this is something we should all be proud of.”