Great Crested Newt (GCN) Surveys

At Quants we have our own in-house licensed great crested newt surveyors able to deliver for whatever your project requires. We can develop a survey programme and/or mitigation strategy tailored to your site. Timely action from us can avoid delays, minimise your costs and ensure project delivery.

Great crested newt survey and associated licence applications can cause issues due to the length of time it can take to sort out, what is often an unforeseen and unplanned hiccup in the project. Quants staff have sufficient experience and knowledge of GCN licensing to ensure any such delays are either avoided altogether, or kept to a minimum.

Great crested newts and their habitats are fully protected by UK and European law. During the spring they breed in ponds throughout Great Britain, but they spend most of the year on land, sometimes over 250 metres from ponds. Great crested newt surveys must be undertaken by licensed surveyors during mid-March to mid-June, although HSI (Habitat Suitability Index) site assessments can be done at most times. Mitigation and licensed work can be lengthy and can only be done at certain times of the year, so it is worth finding out if your site has newts at an early stage to avoid costly delays.

A form of genetic sampling is also available for presence/absence surveys called eDNA sampling, and Quants has laboratory access and sampling experience of this form of assessment. It is worth mentioning, that if a GCN licence is necessary then population information will usually be required, so in the event that an eDNA pond/waterbody sample is returned positive, 6 visit-3 method sampling (population studies) would still be required to inform the application. The 6 visits would need to be undertaken between mid-March to mid-June, with at least 3 visits during the peak season of mid-April to mid-May.

Standard sampling usually begins with a series of visits to bottle trap, egg search and examine the water column with torches (after dark). The information collected is used in combination with desk searches of known populations in the surrounding geographic area to help design evidence based mitigation to support the planning application.

Bottle trap

Bottle trap