The great crested newt is Britain’s most strictly protected amphibian. They are a European protected species and the animals, its eggs, their breeding sites and resting places are protected by law.
Habitat suitability index assessment
We can complete an ecological survey associated with this species including a habitat suitability index assessment (HSI) to assess the water bodies to determine the suitability.
Surveys would then take place to determine presence/absence and an estimate of the population size. In line with guidance we would complete up to six visits to complete the surveys (using a number of different survey techniques, including torching, bottle trapping and egg searching) if great crested newts are found on site to enable an assessment of the population. If no great crested newts are found after four surveys the extra two surveys will not be required.
We are also able to offer eDNA surveys – this involves a licenced great crested newt worker taking samples from the ponds and sending away to determine if great crested newts are present within the pond. If newts are present, further surveys will still be required to determine the population.
The great crested newt survey period is restricted to when they are in the ponds, between mid March – mid June, eDNA samples can be taken from mid April - end June.
Licencing and mitigation
If great crested newts are present then a licence will be required to ensure that the newts are protected.We would work with you and governing bodies to create mitigation suitable for your project.. The mitigation required depends on the effect the development will have on the newts, this may require the area to be fenced off with an amphibian fence which prevents great crested newts moving into the area. Trapping take place within the fenced area over a fixed period of time and all individuals caught are relocated to areas which have been identified as receptor areas.