Great crested newt

Great Crested Newts

Great crested newts (GCN) and their habitats (aquatic and terrestrial) are legally protected. They use ponds and other still water-bodies to breed during spring and summer, but spend the rest of the year on land, usually travelling up to 500m from their breeding ponds. As such, this species needs to be taken into account when suitable water-bodies are nearby, even if none are present within your site.

A number of survey methods and mitigation options now exist for GCN, including new licensing options from Natural England; these aim to remove some of the ‘red tape’ and make mitigation more pragmatic, whilst focussing conservation effort of the species at the population level, rather than absolute protection for each individual newt.

If surveys are required, these are seasonally constrained. ‘Traditional’ survey methods are limited to mid-March to mid-June, with half the surveys required between mid-April to mid-May. Environmental DNA (e-DNA) surveys are limited to 15th April to 30th June.

A derogation licence is needed from the relevant statutory body prior to any works that may impact individual GCN or their aquatic and terrestrial habitats.

Contact us now with any ecology queries: Claire Munn, Principal Ecologist: