Great Crested Newts

Habitat fragmentation and the loss of ponds have contributed to the widespread decline of the great crested newt. This has resulted in the species gaining full legal protection under both domestic law and as a European Protected Species. It is illegal to injure, kill, capture or disturb a great crested newt or to damage, destroy or obstruct habitat used for shelter and protection.

The protection afforded to great crested newts means that planning authorities may require extra information (in the form of surveys, impact assessments and mitigation proposals) before determining planning applications for proposed land. If disturbance or damage to individual newts or their habitat is unavoidable then it would be necessary to obtain a mitigation licence.

Do you require help with a planning application and have been asked for a great crested newt survey?

To reduce the risk of project delays it is best to carry out a survey at the earliest possible stage of your development. An initial site assessment will enable us to appropriately assess the habitat on site and if necessary, conduct a proportionate survey required to satisfy a planning consultation.

We have the appropriate licenses and experience to handle and disturb great crested newts, conduct full survey work (refuge searching, egg searching, netting, torching, bottle trapping), apply for and obtain a mitigation licence and conduct all works, such as translocation and trapping that may be necessary under the licence.

Our experience means we can provide a robust and straightforward mitigation scheme to satisfy both statutory consultation and support an application for an EPSM licence, if required.

We can also provide landscape plans, advise on and carry out pond creation and habitat restoration works.

Our conservation contracting team can provide all the practical aspects of mitigation and habitat management, including:

  • Amphibian exclusion fencing
  • Refugia and hibernacula creation
  • Installation of pitfall traps
  • Habitat enhancement/mitigation works – pond creation, seed sowing, tree and hedge planting

Our great crested newt project experience includes commercial and private projects: domestic surveys, housing developments, council amenities sites, large scale tourism developments, utility pipelines and wind farm projects.

Our Clients include private developers, construction and civil engineering companies, utility companies, housing associations, statutory bodies (Natural England, SNH, Forestry Commission), local authorities, conservation organisations (Wildlife Trusts, RSPB, National Trust), planning consultants, architects, and private individuals.

Our specialist team at OpenSpace can advise on any great crested newt query. You can contact us at 01228 711841 or email

Updated April 2017