Posts Tagged ‘GCN’

Great crested newt / bat survey volunteer

Monday, April 8th, 2013

United Environmental Services is looking for a volunteer for the Great crested newt survey season (mid-March to mid-June) and bat survey season (May to September).

Further information on Great crested newt surveys can be found here and bats here.

Please send your CV to if you are interested.


Great crested newt survey volunteer

Thursday, March 21st, 2013
United Environmental Services has recently taken on volunteer Zoe Haysted:

‘I knew my placement year at Harper Adams University would be valuable in creating a more focused field of study, putting the theory into practice and helping my final year of studies including my dissertation. By volunteering with United Environmental Services, I hope to create a stepping stone into the ecological consultancy field, further my species identification and help towards gaining a Great crested newt protected species licence.

I am currently studying a BSc in Countryside and Environmental Management. My student placement is at Fenn’s, Whixalland Bettisfield Mosses National Nature Reserve. I was lucky to be a part of the ‘Long Term Monitoring Project’ run by Natural England, which looked at lowland bog flora and furthered my interest into surveying.

At university, I had the opportunity to survey farmland birds, invertebrates and crop vegetation with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. I also volunteer with Silverdale Community Country Park and am soon to participate in invertebrate surveys.

I am looking forward to volunteering with UES during the Great crested newt survey season, which will give me invaluable experience in amphibian ecology, identification and Great crested newt survey methods.’

Large female Great crested newt

Its the great crested newt survey season and they’re back in the ponds making egg folds already !!

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Our great crested newt survey season has started and we have already had positive results in the ponds that we are monitoring and in ponds that we are surveying for the first time.

A number of the ponds which we survey as part of our annual monitoring cycle have a number of great crested newt egg folds present, mainly on water forget me nots and willow-herb. This is relatively early in the great crested newt breeding season and it is possible that newts have been active early this year due to the mild winter.

Male great crested newt

Male great crested newt

It is particularly encouraging to find good numbers of great crested newts in ponds which we have actively managed over the last couple of years. The removal of willow trees which have encroached the ponds and the opening up of the pond banks are simple measures which have produced good results.

Female great crested newt

Female great crested newt

It will be interesting to see how great crested newt activity progresses in the ponds as the season goes on, and we hope to see an increase in the maximum numbers of great crested newts in the ponds and also an increase in amphibian activity in general.


Great crested newt pond scoping survey in Lower Peover, Cheshire

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Great crested newt larvae

UES were commissioned in June 2011 to conduct a great crested newt pond scoping survey to assess potential presence of great crested newts within 250m of the development footprint.

Development works within 250m of a great crested newt pond are often subject to a Natural England European Protected Species Licence (EPSL). It is stressed by Natural England to try and redesign a project to remove any potential impacts on great crested newt populations and associated habitats in order to remove the need for licensing.

The field methods used to survey ponds are:

  1. Bottle trapping
  2. Egg search
  3. Torch surveys
  4. Netting

Natural England recommend using at least three of the methods outlined above when conducting a pond survey. Smooth newts and great crested newt eggs and larvae were found in ponds within 250m of the development.

UES proposed that by designing the project timings and working methods to avoid impacts, any potential impacts on local great crested newt populations and habitats could be effectively removed, or reduced to a negligible level thereby removing the need for protected species licensing.

Great crested newt monitoring at Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

It’s the fourth year that United Environmental Services have monitored the ponds in Kings Cliffe following a major trapping and relocation scheme. So far this year a good number of adult great crested newts and developing great crested newt larvae have been caught in bottle traps  and pond nets and recorded whilst torching. A healthy population of other amphibians including Smooth and Palmate newts have also been recorded on the site, as well as reptile species such as slow worm and grass snake.

UES caught a particularly large female great crested newt, which was heavily pregnant whilst bottle trapping. Courtship and egg-laying normally lasts from mid-March to mid-May. Female great crested newts lay eggs individually on leaves of submerged vegetation, which she then carefully folds up into a package. After about 3 weeks the great crested newt larvae hatch out and spend the next 2 to 3 months developing into juveniles, whilst feeding on a wide variety of pond life including small crustaceans and other newt larvae.