Great crested newts (GCN) are protected by law, and therefore also within the planning system.
They are most often considered within planning applications for projects where ponds are present within a 500m radius of the site boundary. Martin Ecology staff are licensed newt surveyors who undertake great crested newt survey, mitigation design and licensing.
Services we offer:
Habitat Suitability index (HSI) Assessments.
These assessments are undertaken in the field on or adjacent to a development site which may support GCN. The technique aims to determine whether the ponds and surrounding habitat are suitable to support GCN and whether further surveys would be required to help determine presence or absence of GCN.
Presence/absence Survey and Population Assessment, including torch surveys, bottle trapping, refuge searches and egg searches.
This technique is employed to determine whether or not GCN are present at or adjacent to a development site where suitable habitat has been identified.
Mitigation Design and Licensing.
Where GCN have been identified on a development site a license is usually required to carry out works that would otherwise be unlawful. We apply to Natural England for these licences on the applicant’s behalf with an appropriate mitigation scheme and methods statement after planning has been granted.
This technique involves taking water samples of ponds and having tehsamples checked for the presence of GCN DNA in the water. It is becoming more common to employ this technique rather than undergo more extensive presence / absence surveys.
HSI assessments can be undertaken year-round, although presence/absence surveys can only be undertaken during appropriate weather conditions between mid-March and mid-June. At least two of these visits are required to be done between mid-April and mid-May.