Great Crested Newt European Protected Species Licence, Herefordshire

If great crested newts will be affected by your planning application, you will require a European Protected Species (EPS) development licence to ensure that works progress smoothly, legally, and in a manner that will not adversely affect the newts.

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 newt and it is generally assumed that the species might be present in terrestrial habitats up to 500m of a breeding pond, depending on habitat quality, connectivity and population size.

The licensed GCN ecologists at Acer Ecology are experienced in managing all stages of the EPS licensing process, from survey through to licence drafting, mitigation design, ‘toolbox talks’, trapping, translocating and enhancement of receptor sites. We can provide an appropriately qualified and licensed person to supervise the clearance of sites, where necessary providing an ‘Ecological Clerk of Works’. We hold appropriate CSCS cards and maintain professional indemnity insurance for site works.

We were recently named on a GCN EPS development licence at a large site that was composed of several water bodies and high quality GCN terrestrial habitat. Having previously recorded newts on site using the bottle trapping, torching and egg search techniques, we were then able to work alongside our client to develop a licensed method statement that would ensure that the development progressed smoothly through planning process, without directly harming any GCN during the site works. First, we split the site into several smaller parcels using amphibian-proof fencing. We then undertook a trapping excercise to ensure that all newts had been removed from each parcel before site clearance works began. A portion of the habitats present within the site would be completely lost to the development, and we therefore developed an adjacent area of land into a receptor site for GCN. This involved the creation of four new water bodies and two artificial hibernacula, which could be utilised by the newts for foraging and hibernating. The project was completed in a smooth and timely manner, therefore saving our client money and potentially long time delays further down the line.

We are able to provide this service throughout Herefordshire, including Ross on Wye, Ledbury, Leominster, Bromyard, Ewyas Harold and the Malvern Hills. We are also able to serve the surrounding counties of Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Powys and Monmouthshire.

For more information about great crested newt licensing, or any of our other ecological services, please call us on 02920 650331, or email us at

Further information about great crested newts can be found in our articles Get The “Newt” Know How On Great Crested Newt SurveysGreat Crested Newts – How we Can Help You and A Year in the Life of a Great Crested Newt.