Great Crested Newt Surveys


Great crested newt surveys can be necessary if you’re looking to develop a piece of land. We’re experienced in identifying when you need this survey and guiding you through the process for a productive outcome. 

Great Crested Newts are a European Protected Species. That means it’s illegal to kill or harm them or their habitats. When land is changing use, you need a skilled ecologist to find the right path. And that’s what we do!

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Newts Surveys | Great Crested Newt

So, you’ve been asked for a newt survey? 

Whilst it might seem like a daunting prospect, we can help you through this complex process. And the earlier that we start, the better, in terms of resolving any problems. We would initially review your site plan with you and discuss the next steps to take. 

A licensed herpetologist must carry out your newt surveys. They must assess the likelihood of your land being a potential breeding ground for Great Crested Newts in addition to their actual presence. 

This species of newt is relatively common in lowland Britain and given their protected status, it’s important to accommodate them as land develops.


When can newt surveys be done? 

The general survey season for breeding ponds is mid-March to June. You’ll probably need to carry out four surveys to confirm presence or absence. Two of these should be between mid-April and mid-May. If no Great Crested Newts are found, no more surveys are required. 

If newts are found during the first four surveys, two more newt surveys will be required before the end of June. It can be a tricky process and we’ll guide you through it. 

What is eDNA testing? 

A new technique, approved by Natural England, eDNA testing can be useful in the right circumstances. 

If you discover that you need newt surveys too late in the season, eDNA testing can be used from mid-April until the end of June. It involves sending samples of pond water away to a lab that tests for the presence of Great Crested Newt DNA. 

If no DNA is found, no more surveys are required. If DNA is detected, you’ll need to plan for further newt surveys during the next season. 

Please talk to us as early as you can in your planning process. We can help to avert delays by acting quickly.


What happens when newts are found? 

You’ll need a licence from Natural England, should Great Crested Newts be found on your land. We’ll then be able to advise you on the mitigation and compensation options that might be required. These include one-way fencing, protection measures, compensatory habitats and site clearance techniques. 

If you have any questions about Great Crested Newts, we’ll have the answers. We’ve successfully supported many clients through this process, keeping them the right side of the law. Our involvement has also reduced possible delays in the planning process. 

Please call us on 01886 888445. We’re here to help. 


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