Three species of newt are native in the UK; Smooth newt, Palmate newt and European Protected Species, Great Crested Newt.
These three newts all hibernate in wildlife areas such as log piles, or under tree roots and similar habitats, to shelter during winter. The three species of newts then go to their nearby aquatic habitats in Spring, for breeding. The rest of the year, newts forage over land and can be found in both woodland and grassland, as well as scrub. These habitats are used by all newts for foraging and for sheltering.
Great crested newts are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) and by the Habitat Regulations (1994); this protection is due to their scarcity at a European level. It is an offence to kill, injure, capture or disturb great crested newts or to damage or destroy their breeding sites or terrestrial habitats and forestry and agricultural operations are no longer a defence.
Landvision’s ecology team offer newt surveys to ensure that your site use lies within legal requirements of UK wildlife & countryside law and planning conditions.
Ponds within 500m of the development site should be assessed, in order to comply with the legal requirements and regulations. These ponds must be assessed during the breeding season, which runs from March to June. These time scales, mean that contacting Landvision early can save you time and avoid costly delays; that is, by forward planning, you will minimise any potential disruption to your project. You can also begin mitigation and enhancement measures prior to work starting on site.
Risk Assessment/ Scoping/ Stage 1/ Habitat Suitability Index Surveys
Scoping or Extended Phase 1 habitat surveys are a first stage. These can also be carried out as a separate survey on any identified habitats such as ponds.
Presence/ Absence and Population Size Class Assessment Surveys.
If a potential habitat is identified, further newt survey work will be required. This will comprise four visits to define presence or absence, with a further two newt surveys required to enable a population estimate to be made.
If a licence is required to enable the development to proceed, then a Population estimate survey will be needed first.
If a licence is required then Landvision’s team can give your site the appropriate newt mitigation and method statement, with time scales agreed, in order for the development to proceed.
To discuss your site needs; for advice on great crested newt surveys or amphibian surveys, please ring 01892 78200. You can also go to the contacts page and email us.