environmental consultancy

T+44(0)1275 391 297 E ecology@abricon.com

Great Crested Newt Surveys

We can provide a number of newt surveys, including small scale, large scale and even high profile Great Crested Newt surveys. In addition, we provide advice on various newt mitigation schemes for various projects. Therefore our team quickly identifies situations where the presence of great crested newts requires consideration. And finds solutions to often complex problems. Our attention to detail, investment in technology and vast experience allows us to be very competitive. We respond to enquiries same day and schedule our surveys in days (not weeks), which helps our clients to meet even very tight deadlines. Our efficiency and expertise has saved our clients lots of money!

We have numerous licensed Great Crested Newt (GCN) surveyors with extensive experience of survey, mitigation, the licensing process and the assessment of effects on these species.

Great Crested Newt Ecology

Great Crested Newts Triturus cristatus spend most of their lives on land, but must migrate to standing water to breed. Migration occurs in early spring, with most newts having arrived at water bodies by the middle of March. Mating and egg laying occurs up until the middle of May, with adults starting to leave water bodies in June; at the end of the breeding season.

Larvae remain in the water for a further 2 to 3 months until their metamorphosis is complete. After metamorphosis, juveniles take 2 to 4 years to reach sexual maturity. In this time, juveniles will remain on land, returning to water bodies only when they are ready to breed.

Adult newts hibernate from October to February, finding protection in refuges such as among tree roots, deadwood and rubble.

Newt Surveys Methods

We employ a wide range of newt survey techniques including:

  • Phase 1 – Habitat Suitability Index (HSI)

Abricon assess the habitat suitability for great GCN, of all water bodies on site and up to 500m away from the site. The Great Crested Newt Habitat Suitability Index (Oldham et al, 2000) provides a means of evaluating habitat quality by ascribing a numerical value to various environmental factors.

  • Phase 2 – Presence/Absence Survey

A presence/absence survey requires four nights of surveying using a minimum of three traditional survey techniques per survey; bottle trapping, torch light surveys, egg searches, netting and terrestrial searches.

  • Phase 2 – Environmental DNA (eDNA)

Abricon’s licensed ecologists also carry out Environmental DNA (eDNA) surveys for GCN. Abricon collects water samples from the water bodies on and within the vicinity of the site, before a registered laboratory analyses the samples for the presence or absence of GCN DNA markers. Abricon can carry out eDNA surveys as an alternative to a presence/absence survey; however, if eDNA confirms the presence of GCN within a water body, phase 3 surveys must still occur.

  • Phase 3 – Population Size Class Assessment

Survey guidelines require a total of six nights of surveying, using traditional techniques, if surveys confirm the presence of GCN within a water body during a phase 2 survey.

We can only carry out GCN presence/absence and population size class assessments surveys between the middle of March and the end of June. In addition, Abricon must complete at least 50% of the surveys between the middle of April and the middle of May.

Abricon can only carry out GCN eDNA surveys between the middle of April and the end of June, as per survey guidelines.

Newt Protection and Legislation

GCNs are fully protected under The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).

In summary, it is an offence to;

  • Deliberately capture, injure, kill or disturb GCN;
  • Damage or destroy a breeding site or resting place of GCN;
  • Possess or advertise/sell/exchange (dead or alive) or any part of GCN.

Newt Licensing and Mitigation

A European Protected Species Licence (EPSL) allows work to go ahead that would otherwise constitute a criminal offence. All works that will impact GCN may require an EPSL to be obtained from the appropriate statutory body for nature conservation prior to the start of works. An EPSL will only be approved if it includes suitable mitigation and is completed by a GCN licensed ecologist.

Survey Calendar for Great Crested Newts

Survey calendar for great crested newts

Mitigation Calendar for Great Crested Newts

Mitigation calendar for Great Crested Newts

Contact Us Now For Your Free Newt Survey Quote!

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Aerial Bat Tree Climbing Inspections and Bat Survey Licence

6th February 2018

Our ecology team members, Samuel Olney and Aaron Isaacs, have been very busy this winter and it is our pleasure to announce that they have achieved their CS38 Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue Level 2 certifications. Samuel Olney has also been approved as being sufficiently experienced to hold a Bat Class 2 survey licence from […]

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Get in touch

Telephone +44(0)1275 391 297 Email ecology@abricon.com

1 Lyons Court,
Long Ashton Business Park,
Yanley Lane,
Long Ashton,
BS41 9LB