Great Crested Newt Survey
Great crested newts are fully protected under UK and European law and are frequently encountered on development sites.
It is an offence to kill, capture, or disturb them, or to damage or destroy their ponds. This protection extends to the habitats which support great crested newts and it is generally assumed that the species might be present in terrestrial habitats up to 500m from a breeding pond, depending on habitat quality, connectivity and population size.
Surveys for great crested newt are seasonally constrained to the period mid-March to mid-June, when great crested newts are present in their breeding ponds. Outside of this season terrestrial surveys using drift fencing and pitfall traps can be undertaken to determine their presence in terrestrial habitats. Acer Ecology Ltd frequently undertakes bottle-trapping, egg-searching, netting and torch surveys, as well as drift-fencing and pitfall trap surveys.
We also offer eDNA surveys for newts. This method takes samples of water and tests it for DNA of newts that have been shed into the local environment, which can inform you if great crested newts are present or absent at a pond. This can be undertaken between 15 April and 30 June.
If great crested newts will be affected by a proposed development, a European Protected Species licence will be needed prior to the commencement of works. The loss of breeding ponds or terrestrial habitats will require mitigation which can involve installing exclusion-fencing over part or all of the development site, the trapping and transfer of animals to a pre-prepared receptor area, the creation of new ponds and the management of terrestrial habitats specifically for great crested newts.
Our licensed great crested newt specialists are experienced in survey, European Protected Species licensing, as well as mitigation design and implementation.
For more information about great crested newt surveys or any of our other ecological services call us on 029 2065 0331.
More information about great crested newts can be found in our articles Get The “Newt” Know How On Great Crested Newt Surveys, and A Year in the Life of a Great Crested Newt.