Great Crested Newt Survey from £399
The Great Crested Newt and other species of animal are protected under UK and EU law because they are rare, their numbers are diminishing or their natural habitats are threatened. There are many animals on the list of species that must be protected, including mammals such as bats, reptiles such as certain types of snake and amphibians, obviously including the Great Crested Newt.
The Great Crested Newt is protected in the UK under Annex IV of the EC Habitats and Species Directive, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and the Natural Habitats Regulations 1994. Because of this, it is not only illegal to kill, injure or capture an individual Great Crested Newt, but it is also against the law to damage, disrupt or remove the species’ habitats or breeding grounds.
What does a Great Crested Newt survey cost?
A Great Crested Newt survey costs £399 for a GCN Habitat Suitability Index – the basic level of newt survey which can be undertaken year round – and can vary for full bottle trapping and lamping newt surveys, which are time limited to between mid-March and mid-June of each year.
The Great Crested Newt and Planning
From a planning perspective, this means that if you are undertaking a building project in the land surrounding your home or elsewhere, then you need to be vigilant to the presence of a Great Crested Newt population. If you know or suspect that there are Great Crested Newt living or breeding in an area that you wish to develop, you will need to have a newt survey to assess the extent of their presence and the effects that any developments may potentially have on them.
About the Great Crested Newt
The Great Crested Newt (scientific name: Triturus cristatus) are one of three species of newt native to the UK, and with an estimated breeding population of less than 400,000 they are the rarest of the British newts. They can be found throughout England, Scotland and Wales, as well as much of northern Europe. The habitats in which Great Crested Newts are found vary at different times of the year. In spring they congregate around natural wetlands and garden ponds when they return to the water to breed, while in winter they hibernate in areas of shelter and dense cover. During the rest of the year they tend to live in long grass, foliage and forests.
In terms of appearance, they are very distinctive and easily recognisable. A Great Crested Newt can grow up to 1.5cm in length (larger than other UK newt species) and is usually brown or black in colour with a yellow underbelly and a characteristic spotted pattern across its body.
The Great Crested Newt is most likely to be present if your garden has a pond or other water source, though during the non-breeding part of the year they can even live in gardens without significant water, particularly if there are artificial or natural bodies of water nearby.
If you are planning on buying land to develop, you should also check for the presence of newts, via a newt survey, as early as possible.
What to do if you find Great Crested Newts
Natural England (formerly English Nature), the official body responsible for monitoring and licensing issues regarding the Great Crested Newt in England, are very specific in their advise when dealing with a Great Crested Newt population. They “recommend that developers seek the services of a professional advisor (environment consultant) when protected species arise in connection with proposed development.” That’s where Arbtech come in.
Arbtech are a team of qualified and experienced ecological consultants who specialise in conducting environmental surveys for planning permission and development reasons. Every member of our team is a professional ecological consultant who has the knowledge needed to carry out your newt survey quickly, efficiently and accurately. In addition to Great Crested Newt surveys, we offer tree surveys, phase 1 habitat surveys, bat surveys and a number of other protected species surveys.
What does a Great Crested Newt survey entail?
In the first stage of the newt survey we will perform a comprehensive study of your land to assess the extent of the presence of even a single Great Crested Newt (or more than one!!) and the impact that your building plans might have on those newts. We will then compile a report on our findings, which is required to be submitted with planning permission in many cases. This is known as a Great Crested Newt Habitat Suitability Index and can be undertaken year round.
In some cases a mitigation strategy will be needed in order to obtain the necessary licence to continue with your development plans and obtain planning permission. We can assist you in developing this strategy, which might include minor changes to the way the work is carried out, relocating the newts or constructing Great Crested Newt fencing.
At Arbtech we have in-depth, hand’s on experience with newt populations, so we can take care of all your needs regarding Great Crested Newt surveys and mitigation. Call us today for a friendly chat about your needs and our expert services.
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