Consultant ecologists providing wildlife surveys, phase 1 habitat surveys & other ecological studies across Southern England & Wales

Great Crested Newt Surveys

Great Crested Newts are European Protected Species, as are Natterjack Toads, but the remaining amphibians in this country, such as the Smooth Newt, Palmate Newt, Common Toad and Common Frog are only protected from sale or possession. All amphibians spend most of the year on land, but return to ponds in spring to breed.

For Great Crested Newt (GCN) surveys, any ponds within 500m of the site containing suitable habitat need to be assessed for their potential for breeding GCNs using a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI). Those ponds determined to have reasonable potential for GCNs should be surveyed at the appropriate time of year.

Surveys of ponds should be carried out between mid-March and mid-June, with half the surveys carried out in the peak season of mid-April to mid-May. Four surveys are required for presence/absence studies and an additional two surveys are required for a population class assessment to inform a European Protected Species Licence application should GCNs be found. Surveys should be spread out across the survey season and use three of the four following methods: Bottle trapping, torching, egg searches and netting.

Mitigation for GCNs is similar to that for reptiles with habitat creation and enhancement, hibernacula construction, newt fencing and translocations, but the creation of new ponds designed for GCNs is a notable difference that can add a whole new habitat to a site.

View some examples of our Great Crested Newt Survey projects >

If you have any questions or would like more information on the above, please call Principal Ecologist Mark Satinet on 01993 864 958 or email

Great Crested Newts

Great Crested Newts