Great crested newt surveys in Cheshire for planning

We carry out great crested newt surveys in Cheshire for planning applications. Surveys are often required for developments on green field sites, as a part of the planning submission. This is because great crested newts are a legally protected species, and are affected by development work.

Pond surveys

The surveys may be required even if you don’t have a pond on your land, or if ponds will not be affected. This is because amphibians, including great crested newts, spend the majority of their time on dry land. They move between ponds, and shelter in small gaps and crevices, and in undergrowth. They can travel a long way from their breeding ponds, and so surveys are often required if you are with 250m of a pond.

A great crested newt (GCN) survey consist of a series of visits to a pond, or other waterbody, such as a ditch. Each survey comprises a visit in the evening, and a visit the next morning. The evening survey visit is used to set traps in the water, to search the pond with a powerful torch, and to catch amphibians in a pond net. All amphibians are recorded. During the morning visit the traps are emptied. Any amphibians caught are recorded, and then released back into the pond. Vegetation is searched for great crested newt eggs. Great crested newts lay their eggs in folded leaves, using their hind legs.

The number of survey visits needed depends on the outcome of the surveys. A great crested newt presence-absence survey consists of four surveys. If no great crested newts are found during the survey, then no further survey work will be required. If GCN are found then two more surveys are required for a GCN population size class assessment. This will be used to apply for a licence from Natural England.

You don’t always need a survey

There are lots of developments which need great crested newt surveys. There are just as many that don’t. You may not need full pond surveys, if the work you are doing is unlikely to impact on great crested newts, or their habitat.

Contact us

Contact us for information and advice about great crested newt surveys and reports.

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