Newt Surveys

Amphibian and great crested newt surveys

Newt Surveys

We have licensed and experienced ecologists able to undertake amphibian and great crested newt surveys. The objective of any preliminary survey will be to establish likely absence or presence, whereas advanced survey techniques aim to inform the number of individual animals present and how they use a site and adjacent land.

Techniques used include:

Environmental DNA (eDNA)

This is a fast and cost-effective assessment of a waterbody for the presence or likely absence of great crested newt. It requires a licensed surveyor to take water samples from each relevant waterbody, which is analysed in a Natural England approved laboratory for the presence of great crested newt DNA. If absent, then no further assessment will be required, saving you both time and money.

Where presence is confirmed then either a full population assessment survey will be required or alternatively, you could enter into a district licensing scheme, where eligible. There is a limited window of opportunity for this service, restricted between mid-March and the end of June.

Population Assessment Survey

If presence of great crested newt is considered likely or has been confirmed by Environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques, then a survey and assessment may be required.

The objective is to confirm the population size within a waterbody which will inform the right level of mitigation or compensation measures required to address all terrestrial and aquatic impacts which may form part of a mitigation licence. Surveys are intensive and may include Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) assessment, egg searches, bottle trapping, night-time torching and netting techniques – some or all may be required depending on the number and size of waterbodies present on and adjacent to your site. Between four and six site visits may also be required.

There is a limited window of opportunity for this service, restricted between mid-March and the end of June. Our strong advice is to contact us at your earliest opportunity where a newt survey may be or has been requested as part of your proposal.

District Licensing

District Licensing for great crested newt is a new system of licensing providing developers and householders with a quicker, cheaper, and risk-free way of dealing with great crested newts when they are applying for planning permission. Through NatureSpace, Local Planning Authorities in the South Midlands can now authorise development at the same time as granting planning permission.

The new voluntary scheme opened in February 2018 and is available to all developers and householders. If you enter the scheme all your survey and mitigation needs are covered under the District Licence – giving you complete legal certainty and saving you time and money.

If you are applying for planning permission in the South Midlands and need the assistance of a licensed and experienced great crested newt ecologist to complete your application form, or would simply like to know more, please do get in touch.