GCN & Amphibians

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Great Crested Newts-Current Status and why they are protected

Great Crested Newts (GCN) and their habitats are fully protected by the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2010) and partially protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). This legislation makes it an offence to kill, injure or capture GCN, their young or eggs, or destroy/damage their ponds or places of shelter used for breeding or protection. The GCN is also a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) and has been adopted in England under Section 41 of the NERC Act 2006. 

Darwin Ecology GCN Services:

  • Pond assessments and Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) assessments
  • GCN Surveys - bottle trapping, egg searches, torch surveys, netting and refuge search
  • eDNA
  • Mitigation strategies
  • EPS mitigation licence applications
  • Installation of GCN exclusion fencing and pitfall traps
  • Pond and hibernacula design and creation

Great Crested Surveys





GCN surveys are usually based on confirming newt presence/absence in water bodies during the amphibian breeding period. GCN Survey work is more suitably undertaken during the breeding season whilst newt activity is focused around their breeding ponds (mid-March-mid-June). 

Surveys should involve a minimum of four visits (with two visits in April or May), using a minimum of three surveying methods, to all suitable water bodies within the development site and within a radius of 500m. 

Standard survey techniques include bottle trapping, netting, egg searches, torchlight searches and searches of terrestrial refugee. Use the GCN survey and mitigation calendar above to help plan your works schedule.

Mitigation







If GCN are confirmed on a site and development activities are considered likely to result in significant negative impacts on newts and their habitats, the GCN may need to be captured and translocated to an alternative, suitable, nearby habitat. 

A European Protected Species Licence will need to be obtained, together with a suitable mitigation strategy before any mitigation work involving newt capture can proceed. 

Mitigation works may involve replacement habitat creation and the capture and translocation of newts to an alternative habitat using amphibian drift fencing and pitfall traps. The level of newt capture effort will be dependent on the size of the newt population affected. 

Licensing





If planned developments are likely to result in a significant negative impact on GCN, a European Protected Species Licence is require together with a suitable mitigation plan. The licence will only be granted if it demonstrates that the favourable conservation status of GCN are maintained and that there is no satisfactory alternative to the proposed development. In England, survey licences are issued by Natural England.

For more information on Great Crested Newt surveys in the South and South-West contact us now.
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Do you want to get a bat survey done on your property? Call Darwin Ecology Ltd in Shaftesbury on the number below now.

07748 843 842
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