Great Crested Newt Survey

At Quants we have our own in-house licensed great crested newt surveyors and can develop a survey programme and/or mitigation strategy tailored to the site. Timely action from us can avoid delays, minimise costs and ensure project delivery. We are able to provide great crested newt surveys throughout Yorkshire and the north of England.

Great crested newt survey and associated GNC 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. Therefore it is worth finding out if your site has newts at an early stage to avoid costly delays.

GCN Licence requirements

A form of genetic sampling is also available for presence/absence surveys called eDNA sampling. 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. 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.

See our seasonal timing constraints for Great Crested Newt surveys here
Survey & Mitigation Calendar

Further information: Great crested newts: advice for making planning decisions

Bottle trap

Bottle trap