Great Crested Newt Mitigation Works

We know how important your development is to you. We can speed up the clearance of Great Crested Newts from your site. We appreciate that you are in the business of your business, and that is probably not conserving Great Crested Newts. You may feel that Natural England is more interested in hindering companies that want to do the right thing for Great Crested Newts than advising Government about how to avoid harming Great Crested Newts or tackling those that harm Great Crested Newts. If you do find yourself having to undertake Great Crested Newt Mitigation work we will make every attempt to ensure that your project starts on time. All too often clients are locked into Great Crested Newt Development Licences which appear to allow unending trapping days with little to show for it. Why wait for a newt to wander around until it perhaps falls into a bucket trap when you can hunt it down rapidly? Torch-light night searches catch ten times as many animals in a third of the time that bucket or pitfall trapping does. Pitfall trapping does not work where animals are non-directional i.e. wandering in a land habitat or staying-put there. Consultancies which rely soley on pit-fall trapping leave the majority of their animals to be killed or abandoned without a breeding habitat when the development proceeds. It is inexplicable why Natural Engalnd licence such schemes.

We can speed up site clearances of newts by:

  • Extensive torch-light night searches of the clearance area
  • Use of natural-coloured polythene in newt fences which allows better viewing at night
  • Properly designing newt fencing so that clearances areas are fully partitioned
  • Providing properly constructed and buried newt fences which do not leak newts
  • Use of one-way newt fences (the design in the Great Crested Newt Guidelines is our own).
  • Use of 1m wide 1000 gauge UV protected polythene or where appropriate tougher membranes
  • Careful design of newt-proof site gates and prompt readjustments in line with shifting ground levels
  • Extensive use of carpet refugia
  • Grass-strimming and removal off site
  • Excavation of rubble piles
  • Excellent standard of newt fence repairs keeping out newts
  • Provision of badger jumps in badger areas to reduce damage to newt fences
  • Methods to prevent accidental damage by wandering cattle on pipeline schemes

Natural England's Great Crested Newt Mitigation Guidelines is available here Great_Crested_Newt_Mitigation_Guidelines.pdf
Froglife's Great Crested Newt Conservation Handbook is available here GCN-Conservation-Handbook_compressed.pdf

Photos left to right: Great Crested Newt female, Great Crested Newt male underside, Great Crested Newt male

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Photos left to right: Great Crested Newt male, Great Crested Newt male and female, Great Crested Newt male

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So why the Great Crested Newt?

It's all down to global warming!        When the ice left Britain at the end of the last ice age there was a land bridge between Britain and Europe.     The species of amphibians which lived in North France and Belgium were first across the land bridge following the retreating ice occupying a land full of melt-water ponds.   Seven species made it across the land bridge before it broke and these seven species had a whole large island to colonise for their own.        Back in  Northern France and Belgium global warming allowed other species to move north from warmer climes   and those seven species found they had to struggle with the competition from these incoming species.     But in Britain their relatives spread and multiplied.    Thus in Britain we have a large concentration of Great Crested Newts,   a species that is supposedly rare in continental Europe.

The Great Crested Newt is very threatened in the UK. It is certainly more vulnerable to environmental change than the other newt species. It occupies a smaller range of pond habitats than the other species, and it has lower populations using each pond. Great Crested Newt larvae are less secretive, spending time in open water where they can be vulnerable to predators. The smaller Newts can easily inhabit dense marshes where they are less vulnerable. There has been a massive decline in Newt breeding sites since 1945. This continues to this day, especially due to unregulated agricultural works which illegally destroy many Great Crested Newt ponds each year. The fact that today so many developments are affected by Great Crested Newts is absolute proof that without the protection the species would be wiped out or suffer greatly at all those development sites.




Photos left to right: Great Crested Newt male, Great Crested Newt female above male, Great Crested Newt female

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For a no obligation chat about your requirements call Dave Bentley Ecology Services on 0161 478 6594 or 07598 742566 (sometimes 07944 122292). We are here to help. Emails and attachments especially welcomed at info1@davebentleyecology.co.uk. If you are sending large files please send them to big2@dave...... In the case of over quota bounce-backs try "big2" before the @ symbol. We are a Bury-based ecological consultancy. 33 years experience in nature conservation!!

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Text and images copyright of Dave Bentley 2007 & 2011. Banner panorama photo H Groth-Andersen 2006.

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