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Vangarde’s popular newts in return to shopping park

Popular stainless steel newts which once populated Vangarde Shopping Park will return once more to the delight of visitors.

About 300 stainless steel newts were dotted around the park when it opened in April this year to pay homage to the 300 Great Crested newts which used to populate the site.

The artwork, which was created by local award-winning artist Dan Savage, remained popular with visitors to Vangarde and will return to the shopping park after they were taken away to be redesigned.

Vangarde Shopping Park Centre Manager Deb O’Donnell said: “We have had visitors asking in large numbers where the newts had gone, which is a testament to their popularity.

“We wanted to ensure the newts had a good length of longevity and they were sustainable to make sure people visiting Vangarde in years to come will enjoy them as much as they are enjoyed today.

“The metal newts have been rehomed to more prominent locations around the site and we are enjoying having them back.”

The steel newts which inhabited Vangarde previously have been donated to good homes across the region.

Dan said he will be donating ten of the newts to the gardens of Hamilton House in Holgate, which is a home for looked-after children in York.

He said: “These newts have brought a smile to children’s faces visiting Vangarde since it opened, so we wanted to donate some of them to Hamilton House and we hope they will enhance the gardens there.

“We will also be selling the other newts which previously inhabited the centre for £10 each, with all of the proceeds going to Froglife, a charity which focuses on the conservation of amphibians and reptiles.”

Deb said sustainability continued to remain a focus for the shopping park.

She said: “One of Vangarde’s commitments is to ensure sustainability within the park, which we have achieved from using sustainable materials in construction to environmental sustainability by looking after our ponds to ensure the newts which are native to the area still have a habitat here as well as the wetlands.

“By redesigning the steel newts so they are sustainable, we have ensured they will be enjoyed for years and they will remain a permanent fixture in our park.”