Male great crested newts develop a large crested dorsal fin during the breeding season, this and the shiny tail are used during the breeding season when the male performs a dance to entice his mate.
Great crested newt trapping scheme
In 2008/09, UES were instructed to conduct a Great Crested Newt (GCN) mitigation scheme for Augean PLC at Slipe Clay pits in King’s Cliffe, near Peterborough. The £7million project was part of the ongoing construction of containment landfill cells and their associated backfilling with hazardous and inert waste; some of which may come from the 2012 Olympic games. The abandoned clay pits and wetland habitats supported a significant number of amphibians, birds and reptiles.
Work involved intensive daily trapping and relocation of all newts and reptiles to a pre-existing receptor site. By the end of a 90 day aquatic and terrestrial trapping period, 550 adult GCN had been caught and relocated from the development footprint; which constituted one of the largest trapping schemes of 2008. All amphibian and reptiles were relocated to a pre-designed area of terrestrial and aquatic habitat that could suitably support the local population. Following site clearance, the landfill pads, containment pads and buildings were then constructed in situ.
UES took the approach to split the large area of the site into smaller, more manageable compartments which when cleared, could be released more quickly to facilitate development after the 60 day statutory trapping period. This enabled the project to move ahead of time, and below budget. UES also managed the clearance of breeding and Schedule 1 species birds on-site.
In 2009, Augean PLC issued a further instruction to UES for the ongoing monitoring for a 5 year period; testimony to a job well done. Currently in 2010 the ‘medium sized’ Great Crested Newt population has responded well to the new terrestrial and aquatic habitats provided.