“With the habitat split by the M20 and rail link, combined with motorway run off which drains into the only pond on site, means that it’s been a surprise to find so many living here.
“In fact, this area has been the most prolific site we have ever had for newts which is a huge shock.”
Actually this is not such a surprise. Isolated sites often display higher than expected populations of newts. Juveniles have nowhere else to disperse to so local densities can be higher than would normally be anticipated. Detectability issues in finding adult newts at breeding ponds also needs to be carefully considered (example). Low counts of adult newts in a murky pond, do not necessarily mean that the population size is small.