Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis was approved by Natural England in 2014 for the determination of Great Crested Newt (GCN) presence or absence. Water samples are tested to determine if GCN DNA is present within water bodies.

Why use eDNA?

eDNA is rapid and cost-effective when compared to conventional methods. It also has a longer survey window – analysis can be done until the end of June.

eDNA can give an early indication of project budgets and programmes (for projects with long lead-in times). It can also give an early indication of mitigation requirements, allowing better project planning e.g. where additional land is required for mitigation.

Studies have shown that eDNA is more effective at detecting newts than individual ‘traditional’ survey methods (torch counts, bottle trapping and egg searches) over the course of the survey season.

Proficiency testing

Natural England will only accept eDNA results from laboratories participating in annual eDNA proficiency testing. We are the only laboratory to correctly identify all ‘blind’ samples as positive, negative, or indeterminate in all eDNA proficiency tests since 2017.

Quick turnaround

We offer super fast-track to non-priority services (minimum 2 day turn around). Results will be sent as soon as they are ready, regardless of turnaround time chosen. We will always try to meet your requirements where possible.

Tiered Pricing System

Please see our price list for 2021. Payment can be by invoice or PayPal (see our eDNA Terms and Conditions).

Our expertise

Our scientists were part of the peer review of the Natural England Technical Advice Note in 2014 and we strictly adhere to this guidance.

Outside of the survey season, we research other species and areas of improvement to GCN eDNA analysis. Several of our papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals. We can also offer training in eDNA sampling. Other ecology advice can be provided by our in house ecologists.

eDNA results letter example document

Safety information for Sodium Acetate and Ethanol

Collecting your sample

Watch our video on collecting a water sample for eDNA testing

Read the eDNA FAQs

Please note

If you do an eDNA test for GCN out of season, you cannot use the results to support absence of newts during planning applications nor for licensing purposes.

After analysis, your sample (anonymised) may be used in further laboratory research to develop tests for the monitoring of other species within the GCN pond ecosystem.