A TREE expert from Ellesmere was stunned to discover a great crested newt outside the town’s surgery this morning.

Rob McBride was attending his appointment at the medical practice when he stumbled across the amphibian.

He explained that the great crested newt was just on the floor as the automatic doors opened.

Rob added: “This is not something that just falls out of your pocket every day.

“I don’t know where it could possibly come from, maybe some of the gardens that back into the surgery – but it got squashed by the door when it opened.”

The tree expert then told the receptionist about the newt and left them to deal with the animal.


He said: “I left it in the foyer on the steps and told the receptionist – I doubt any doctor or vet will be able to revive it.

“It looked chunky in the stomach so I am not sure what their breeding cycle is like.”

Rob described the animal as “special” and “beautiful” and said he used to see the amphibian all the time as a kid.

“Used to see them all the time in the field as a kid”, he added, “But they keep getting rarer.”

The great crested newt grows up to about 15cm and are the “heavy weights” of the UK’s three native newt species, according to the Freshwater Habitats Trust.

The way to identify them is by their dark brown or black colour with a “distinct ‘warty’ skin, however, their underside is bright orange with sharply contrasting black blotches, each pattern distinctive to that individual”.

In an article on their website, Freshwater Habitats Trust said: “In the spring, males develop an impressive, jagged crest along their back, and a flashy white stripe along the tail.

“The females are slightly bigger, and lack the crest and the white tail flash of the males, but have a distinctive orange stripe on the underside of their tail.”