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Great Crested Newts


Great crested newts, their breeding sites and resting places are protected by law throughout their lifecycle. In most cases, you should be able to avoid harming the newts by working with our ecologists and adjusting your planned work.

In England any of the following is a criminal offence:

  • capturing, killing, disturbing or injuring great crested newts (on purpose or by not taking enough care)
  • damaging or destroying a breeding or resting place (even accidentally)
  • obstructing access to their resting or sheltering places (on purpose or by not taking enough care)
  • possessing, selling, controlling or transporting live or dead newts, or parts of them
  • taking great crested newt eggs

The potential fine for each offence is £5,000 per incident or per newt and an offender can also be imprisoned for six months.

Timing: March to June
Examples when one could be needed may include
any development within 500 metres of a pond would require a survey, including work maintaining or restoring ponds, woodland or scrub.



Client: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

This project involved surveying a site in South Yorkshire to establish the population status of great crested newts (GCN) within its water bodies. Work involved six survey sessions between mid-March and mid-June, with two of those visits between mid-April and mid-May. A number of methods as approved by Natural England were used including torchlight counts, trapping, netting, and egg searching. Traps are set at night at two metre intervals along accessible sections of the bank, and are then checked and retrieved the following morning, in line with good practice.

All survey work was undertaken by a licensed surveyor and reports were compiled to inform the site managers of best practice measures to put in place, in order to comply with protected species legislation. Best practice biosecurity disinfectant protocols were followed by surveyors entering water, in order to control the inadvertent transfer of pollutants, disease, etc. from one pond to another.