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 or the adjoining terrestrial habitats. The habitats within 500m of a breeding pond are generally considered to be protected by the legislation.
Survey is 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 do 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.
If great crested newt 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 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 2041 0036.How We Can Help You Great Crested Newt Projects Great Crested Newt Mitigation Guidelines