The great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) is a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It has additional protection as a European Protected Species. As such, it is illegal to capture or disturb great crested newts, and their eggs, breeding sites and resting places are all protected.
There are three native species of newt in the UK with the great crested newt being the largest. Their distribution is widespread across the UK but patchy. Great crested newts can be a planning constraint if a development could impact their aquatic or terrestrial habitats.
A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) will help identify any potential newt habitats. Alternatively, a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) assessment of water-bodies within and close to the proposed development area can also be used. Local planning authorities will likely ask for a survey if there are ponds on site or in close proximity to the development.
If a suitable habitat for great crested newt is discovered, the next step is determining whether great crested newts are actually present or likely to be absent.
Our ecologists are licensed surveyors registered with the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environment Management (CIEEM). We also pioneered the use of environmental DNA analysis for great crested newts.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) testing can determine if great crested newts have recently been present within a waterbody. Our scientists can test water samples for residual traces of DNA within water bodies.
eDNA is rapid and cost-effective when compared to traditional surveying. It also has a longer survey window.
Learn more about our eDNA testing capabilities.
If great crested newts are present, we will carry out further survey work to determine the population size. These surveys can only be conducted by suitably qualified and licensed ecologists.
ADAS has ecological consultants can provide pragmatic, commercially aware mitigation solutions for protected species.
If you would like more information on great crested newts, please do not hesitate to contact Joanna Graham email@example.com.