Great Crested Newt Surveys and Mitigation

Great Crested Newt Surveys & Mitigation

If you have great crested newts on your site we can survey to confirm their presence and provide mitigation measures to help you manage them

Newts are amphibians (i.e. they live both in water and on land). The great crested newt is Britain’s largest newt but one that has seen a significant decline in numbers. It is one of four amphibians that is a species of principle importance in England under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006.

Great crested newts are found throughout mainland Britain although they are much less likely to be found in the far south-west of England, northern Scotland and west Wales.

Great crested newts are fully protected under the law due to a dramatic decline in the latter half of the 20th Century, primarily due to pond loss and habitat fragmentation. Common and palmate newts, which do not receive the same level of legal protection in the UK, are sometimes encountered more often than great crested newts.

The Law

Great crested newts receive full legal protection under the Conservation of Species and Habitats Regulations 2010 (as amended) and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).

It is illegal to deliberately injure, kill, capture or disturb a great crested newt, or to damage, destroy or obstruct any places used for shelter and protection.

Only ecologists licensed to survey great crested newts or disturb them as part of a mitigation scheme may capture or handle them.

Breaking the law can lead to fines of up to £5,000 per offence and potential prison sentences of up to six months. Vehicles implicated in an offence can be impounded and both the company and/or the individual(s) concerned can be held liable.

Expert Great Crested Newt Consultants

Our consultants can advise on and carry out all aspects of great crested newt conservation and protection, from thorough field surveys to mitigation work and habitat enhancement.

Our ecologists have worked on a range of rural and urban development projects including:

Great Crested Newt Surveys and Mitigation

Great crested newts occur in rural, urban and suburban habitats. They are more readily found within small to medium sized ponds but can be found in any body of water on site including ditches, temporary pools and swales. They spend most of their year on land – in grassland, scrub, hedgerows and woodland and under logs and stones within 500m of the breeding pond, although some disperse as far as 1km away. They are largely nocturnal. Breeding takes place in ponds between mid-March and mid-June.

Our expert and licensed ecologists undertake:

  • Habitat Suitability Index calculations as an aid to determining likely presence and to target further surveys
  • pond surveys during the breeding season
  • terrestrial surveys outside the breeding season but when newts are still active
  • translocation and other forms of mitigation

Our team also includes experienced countryside contractors who can carry out all aspects of habitat management and creation including:

  • amphibian/reptile exclusion and drift fencing, including both temporary amphibian fencing (TAF) and semi-permanent types
  • supply and installation of pitfall traps
  • log piles and hibernacula
  • grassland seeding and maintenance
  • tree, scrub planting and hedgerow establishment
  • pond construction and restoration

From specific projects, over a small area, to more comprehensive surveys for scientific studies in extensive newt habitats The Ecology Consultancy has the experience and expertise to help you ensure your great crested newt surveys are completed quickly and efficiently.

Working with Great Crested Newts

All our experts are fully licensed to handle great crested newts. The Ecology Consultancy works within appropriate guidelines.

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