Orchard Pond - eDNA Analysis

Case study: eDNA Sampling at Maple Cottage, Warfield, Surrey

Client: Copper Estates Ltd

Objective: To complete a range of surveys in a timely fashion ahead of a planning meeting

Traditional great crested newt pond surveys can be time intensive and thus costly; however, as a result of our partnership with NatureMetrics, we were able to take advantage of the latest technology and utilise the new, and much quicker, method of environmental DNA (eDNA).

The task

The Ecology Consultancy was commissioned by the client to carry out a set of surveys including a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal and surveys for great crested newts, badger, bat, otter, water vole and reptiles.

The solution

eDNA sampling is a fast and effective method for detecting the presence or likely absence of great crested newts and can be used instead of lengthier standard pond survey methods. This technique, approved by Natural England, is now part of the range of services offered by our ecologists.

Only one site visit is required to collect the samples which are then sent to a specialist laboratory for analysis. This is a highly efficient method for detecting great crested newts and our clients are benefitting from the resultant cost savings and fast turnaround.

eDNA sampling was just one element of our work on site. We also provided sound ecological advice and input into the development proposals with regards to habitat protection, enhancement and landscape design to minimise impact on ecology where possible.

The outcome

With the wide array of surveys needed, we coordinated the work carefully to save costs and increase our efficiency. We worked closely with the client to ensure that the surveys, and reports that formed part of their submission to the local planning authority, were delivered on time.

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