Great Crested Newt Protection
Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (NERC) lists the Great Crested Newt (GCN) as a species of principle importance under Section 41. Section 40 requires every public body in the exercising of its functions (in relation Section 41 species) to ‘have regard, so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of those functions, to the purpose of conserving biodiversity’; therefore making Great Crested Newts a material consideration in the planning process and requiring a detailed ecological survey before planning permission can be granted.
Great Crested Newt Survey
Great Crested Newt survey can be undertaken in the following ways:
Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) – this is a tool which assesses the suitability of a pond for GCNs dependent on a variety of factors, such as pond size, terrestrial habitat, water quality etc. This method can be used to identify the likelihood of a pond supporting Great Crested Newts. This is not a definitive survey and the results of an HSI can determine whether or not further surveys are recommended.
Pond surveys can be undertaken to survey for eggs, efts or adult GCNs. The surveys are restricted to mid-March – mid-June with at least two surveys between mid-April – mid-May (Visit our Survey Calendar for suitable times for your survey to be conducted).
The following methods are used by a licensed Great Crested Newt surveyor:
- Egg searching
- Bottle trapping
- DNA surveys where water samples are taken and analysed for environmental DNA of GCNs
The Ecology Partnership Can Help
If GCNs are found then a mitigation strategy may well be required depending on the nature and extent of proposed works. If works require a licence from Natural England (for example loss of a breeding pond or loss of suitable terrestrial habitat) then The Ecology Partnership can write and apply for a licence on the client’s behalf. The Ecology Partnership has licensed GCN workers who are experience with numerous licensed sites and Natural England requirements.
To discuss great crested newt surveys or mitigation strategies, please email us or call us on 01372 824 205 or use our enquiry form below.
For the installation of mitigation fencing and translocation services, please contact us.
For more protected species survey services click here.