BLACK Country nature lovers are being urged to join the search for one of Britain’s most important and endangered creatures.

Ecologists from the Canal and River Trust are taking to the tow paths for a survey to spot Great Crested Newts.

Scientist are encouraging members of the public to join in to help monitor and record the number and species of newts living at the Fens Pools Nature Reserve in Brierley Hill.

Keeping an accurate record of the variety of newts living at the pools will help to establish breeding patterns to help safeguard their habitats.

Newts are nocturnal and volunteers are needed to help with a torch light survey after dark, when they are most active.

The Great Crested Newt is the UK’s largest newt and is legally protected, along with their habitats, as in the past their numbers have declined rapidly.

Canal and River Trust ecologist, Paul Wilkinson, said: “Newts are brilliant creatures and head back to the same pond each year to breed so it’s important we make sure we look after their habitats so we can maintain a healthy newt population for many years to come.

"If you’ve never seen one before this is the perfect opportunity to get up close with these wonderful waterway dragons.”

The Fens Pool surveys will be on Monday May 12 and Monday May 19, to reserve a place contact Paul Wilkinson on 03030 404040.